AFF Statement on China and Falun Gong
In order to dispel misconceptions that may have arisen in AFF's ongoing dialogue with independent scholars from various countries, Falun Gong practitioners, and Chinese scientists and government officials, AFF wishes to make three points regarding the controversies involving Falun Gong and the Chinese government.
First, AFF upholds every person's right of freedom of religion and worship, but is concerned about the use of manipulative techniques and undue influence to diminish the freedom of choice and freedom of mind of a group's members.
Second, AFF urges the Chinese government and Chinese scholars and professionals to respond constructively to reports by well-respected international human rights organizations that the human rights of members of Falun Gong and other religions in China have been systematically violated. The physical brutality and other human rights violations described in these reports should not be tolerated.
Third, reports in the Chinese press and elsewhere that AFF has branded Falun Gong a cult are false, as are reports that AFF has said Falun Gong is not a cult. Although individuals associated with AFF may hold various opinions on this subject, AFF as an organization has not taken a position on the issue. Our Web sites emphasize that lists of groups on which we have information are not lists of "cults." For more information on AFF's concerns about labeling and definitional issues, see:
Approved by the AFF Board of Directors on 23 April 2004.