Wu Zhongze, director of the Civil Affairs Ministry's Civil Organization Administration, reiterated that freedom of belief in religion is protected by the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, except Falun Gong for it isn't religion.
He said normal practitioners of qigong and other physical exercises will be allowed to continue if they follow the law.
"China's Constitution protects the freedom of religious belief and normal religious activities," he said, adding that the Falun Gong, founded by Li Hongzhi, just "copies some skills of qigong exercises and religious phrases," which were patched together with some superstitious thinking.
He said the Regulations on the Registration and Management of Mass Organizations stipulates that mass organizations should be registered and that their activities shall abide by the constitution, laws, regulations and policies of the country.
"The organizations should not violate fundamental principles of the constitution, jeopardize the interests of the nation or the people, or the interests of other organizations and citizens," he said.
However, the Research Society of Falun Dafa, also founded by Li Hongzhi, has engaged in unlawful activities by advocating superstition and spreading fallacies, hoodwinking people, inciting and creating disturbances, and undermining social stability, Wu said.
The ministry listed four major reasons for banning Falun Gong.
"The Research Society of Falun Dafa headed by Li Hongzhi has not registered with competent authorities according to the law and it has engaged in illegal activities," said the minister.
He also accused Li Hongzhi and his Falun Dafa of having advocated superstition and malicious fallacies and of deceiving people and harming their physical and mental health.
(China Daily, July 24, 1999)