Religious Persecution: President Trump Meets with Falun Gong Practitioner and Other Survivors
News Excerpt from The Epoch Times
By Cathy He, Epoch Times | Jul 18, 2019
WASHINGTON—A practitioner of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong who was persecuted in China for her faith was among 27 survivors of religious persecution who met with President Donald Trump at the White House on July 17, 2019.
Yuhua Zhang, 59, was repeatedly imprisoned and suffered torture in China for a combined period of 7 1/2 years for refusing to renounce her faith before escaping to the United States in 2015.
Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese meditation practice, has been brutally persecuted by the Chinese communist regime for 20 years. At any given time, hundreds of thousands of adherents are held in prisons, labor camps, and brainwashing centers, where many have been tortured in an effort to force them to renounce their faith, the Falun Dafa Information Center estimates.
Trump met with Zhang, as well as other survivors from 17 countries, including China, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, and Burma, to reaffirm his administration’s commitment to religious freedom, the White House said.
Zhang’s attendance at the event marked the first time a Falun Gong practitioner has met with the nation’s highest officeholder in an official engagement.
While gathered around Trump’s desk in the Oval Office, Zhang told the president that her husband, also a Falun Gong practitioner, is imprisoned in Suzhou Prison in Jiangsu Province, China.
“Forced organ harvesting still exists, so we should take action,” Zhang said. “Words don’t work.”
Zhang also told Trump about another practitioner imprisoned at the same facility who died one day after being released. Before the person died, he vomited a large amount of blood, she said.
“Each of you has suffered tremendously for your faith,” Trump said during the meeting. “Each of you has now become a witness to the importance of advancing religious liberty all around the world.”
The survivors were in Washington to participate in the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom hosted by the U.S. State Department. The three-day conference, held July 16-18, is the largest religious freedom event in the world.
U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback said at the event that the administration will announce “additional measures” on religious freedom efforts at the conference on July 18, which will be covered in speeches by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence.