Dear Ms. Liu,

I regret that I cannot be here with you today, but I wanted to share with you my strong opposition to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners – and to thank the young cyclists who are raising awareness of this issue as they bike across the country.

The Ride 2 Freedom team members are calling for us to join them in working to end the Chinese government’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. Falun Gong’s adherents have been treated with anything but “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance” by the Chinese government. Since 1999, the Chinese government has tried to eradicate the spiritual practice of Falun Gong in China through detention, torture, and even death.

We often take the right to freedom of belief for  granted in the United States, but we need to remember that this right does not yet exist in other parts of the world. That’s why it’s helpful to have these individuals here today who have experienced persecution themselves, or whose loved ones have. This is an important reminder of the brutal reality that innocent Chinese people face every day.

Peaceful practitioners of Falun Gong and their innocent children brave government harassment and brutality in order to practice their belief system. The practice of a peaceful belief system should not come at the price of torture, imprisonment, or physical harm.

Together, we must strive to raise awareness of the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Government. It’s been occurring far too long, and people around the world all have to say with one voice that it’s got to stop.

Thank you.

Mike Doyle

Member of Congress