The Chinese embassy in Canada issued a bitter statement on Wednesday accusing Canada of interfering in China’s internal affairs and supporting an “anti-humanity” cult.

“On October 27, the Canadian Foreign Minister made unwarranted accusations on China’s freedom of religious belief in a statement on the so-called International Religious Freedom Day, which grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs. We express strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this,” a spokesperson with the Chinese embassy said. 

“Meanwhile, as a country under the rule of law, China will never allow anyone to engage in illegal and criminal activities in the name of religion. ‘Falun Gong’ is an anti-humanity, anti-society, and anti-science cult banned by the Chinese government according to law. It is shocking that the Canadian government openly supports this cult.” 

The remarks, which were published on the official website of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada were in response to a statement made by Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne on International Religious Freedom Day. 

In his statement yesterday, Champagne raised the issue of “the ongoing persecution of Uyghur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners, and other faith and belief communities in China.” 

True North reached out to the Falun Dafa Association of Canada for comment on China’s remarks. Association representative Joel Chipkar thanked Champagne for his statement and called on the Canadian government to remove the Chinese ambassador from Canada “for spreading hatred and bigotry against Canadians.”

“This statement from the Chinese Embassy is sheer hate propaganda to fuel a 21-year brutal and illegal persecution by trying to manipulate people into indifference to the mass human rights atrocities that the Chinese regime is responsible for against people who practice Falun Gong in China,” said Chipkar.

“The persecution of Falun Gong also violates the U.N. Charter, international human rights conventions and also violates China’s own Constitution and laws. Here in Canada, this statement by the Chinese Embassy that Falun Gong is a “cult” constitutes a breach of the Criminal Code of Canada as the wilful promotion of hatred against identifiable religious group based on Canadian police Hate Crimes Unit reports.”

Falun Gong is a religious movement founded in the early 1990’s by its leader Li Hongzhi. The Chinese Communist Party has actively persecuted Falun Gong practitioners and other faiths for several decades in an effort to crack down on religious worship and freedom in the country.

China’s brutal crackdown on Falun Gong worshippers included the practice of organ harvesting

“We also call on Canadian media to be sensitive to not repeat the Chinese regime’s hate propaganda that is being used to fuel the slander, torture and murder of people who practice Falun Gong in China,” Chipkar told True North.

This is not the first time that China has lashed out at Canada’s defence of Falun Gong and other persecuted minorities in the country. 

In March, the Chinese Ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu accused western media outlets of spreading “fake news” about China’s mass internment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region. 

Cong called the re-education camps where a suspected one million Uyghur men, women and children are being held against their will “vocational training centres.”  

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