When I was 10 years old, my mother went to Australia to make a better life overseas, and I stayed with dad in China. I grew up under dad’s meticulous care, and lived a worry-free life. In 1992, we both started a meditation practice called Falun Gong.
Dad was always seeking for the meaning of life until he started to practice Falun Gong. We lived based on Falun Gong’s principles of “truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance” and practiced Falun Gong’s five meditation exercises. All our neighbors, relatives and friends knew Dad was a good co-worker and father. He was always helping others.
Dad’s lifestyle was full of hard work and plain living. Many people were so touched by dad’s good intentions that they started practicing Falun Gong, too.
It was a happy moment nine and half years ago when I came to the United States, but I was sad to know dad and I would be apart. For years, dad was both a father and mother. Even though he struggled to raise me alone, memories of those times are the happiest and warmest of my life.
In my second year in the United States, on July 20, 1999, dad was arrested for practicing Falun Gong. Overnight, the Chinese Communist Party had labeled law-abiding Falun Gong practitioners “criminals” because there were more Falun Gong practitioners than Chinese Communist Party members. It was like thunderbolts striking the sky on a clear day.
On December 27th, 1999, I saw dad on CNN being sentenced to 16 years in jail. My relatives told me he was tortured extensively. In the six months between his arrest and sentencing, dad had aged more than 10 years.
I was threatened by the Chinese Communist Party through relatives in China that if I spoke out for dad, communist party thugs holding him would punish him. I kept silent for a long time. But in 2001, I got a letter from Dad that told me: “A noble man is always magnanimous. A villain is always worried.”
Dad’s letter showed me he still lives without hate or bitterness because of practicing Falun Gong, so I started to speak out.
I believe I should stand up and tell the world that in China, there are 100 million Falun Gong practitioners just like my dad. Many are being arrested, sentenced, tortured, murdered, and even used for live organ harvesting for profitable transplants. I believe I should tell people that Falun Gong practitioners still practice “truthfulness, compassion, tolerance” under such enormous pressure and persecution.
I believe that since ancient times, evil has not defeated the righteous. And I believe that as more people learn the truth, this evil persecution of Falun Gong will stop and my beloved dad—Zhiwen Wang—will come home.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.