Mother of Shen Yun Dancer Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison in China for Her Faith

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Steven Wang’s father previously died as a result of torture by the CCP. Now his mother is being targeted for her belief in Falun Gong.

NEW YORK—For the past 15 years, a cell phone was the only thing that held together Steven Wang and his family, who are an ocean away in China.

It was a phone call that brought the news of his father’s death in 2009—of kidney failure resulting from years of torture detained in a Chinese prison merely due to his faith.

In another phone call, Wang learned about his mother’s arrest last July. Earlier this month, he found out that she had been sentenced to four years in prison—for the same reason that landed his father in jail.

It hurts Wang to think that the thread he holds with his loved ones feels so fragile.

“In my family, I’m always the last to know,” Wang told The Epoch Times from his New York state home.

Wang, a 36-year-old professional dancer and American citizen, was born in Shaoyang in central China, the city he called home for the first two-plus decades of his life. But now, he has no way to go back despite his burning anxiety for his family.

Like his parents, Wang practices the spiritual belief Falun Gong, which has been brutally suppressed by the Chinese Communist Party for more than two decades.

The practice, which involves meditative exercises and moral teachings centered on the values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, attracted a huge following in the 1990s—with an estimated 70 million to 100 million adherents—leading the communist regime to perceive it a threat to its authoritarian grip on power.

Since 1999, adherents have been the target of a relentless eradication campaign that has killed, imprisoned, or enslaved hundreds of thousands of adherents like Wang’s father, and kept the rest of the Falun Gong community under an ever-present threat of persecution.

Fifteen years ago, when Wang left home for New York, his mother Liu Aihua accompanied him all the way to the airport.

“Take good care of yourself,” she had told him in their farewells.

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