The April 25th Appeal Bolstered Falun Dafa’s Widespread Popularity in Taiwan (Photos)

Falun Dafa has been widespread in Taiwan nearly twelve years. There are over
1,000 practice sites and several hundred thousand practitioners across Taiwan.
Taiwan has the largest number of practitioners outside China, and is a primary
force in efforts to oppose the persecution. Looking back at Falun Gong's
widespread history in Taiwan, practitioners' peaceful and rational appeal
on “April 25th,” 1999 was a division point, because Taiwan media
gave wide coverage of “April 25th” event, making Falun Gong well-known. The
event also prompted a large number of new practitioners to enter Falun Gong
cultivation practice and laid a foundation for Dafa's widespread in Taiwan.

Today, on the eighth anniversary of “April 25th” event, the Chinese
Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong has not beaten down Falun
Gong, instead, steadfast practitioners have grown up vigorously while working
against the persecution.



On December 25, 2005, 4,000 Falun Gong practitioners in Taiwan
form a Falun emblem



10,000 people practice Falun Gong exercises in front of the
Office of President in Taiwan to support the lawsuit against Jiang


The following are reviews of the situation at that time by several veteran
practitioners and new practitioners who entered Falun Gong after the “April
25th” event.



Suddenly-occurred Incident



On April 25, 1999, it happened to be the last day for major coordinators
across Taiwan holding a two-day Fa study and experience sharing activity at
Taichung Armed Forces Hero House. On their way back to Taipei in the evening,
practitioners learned from some mainland China practitioners that many people
wanted to go to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, telling the government that
Falun Gong is good. But they were unable to go, because they were intercepted on
the way. Actually many more people wanted to go to appeal. Taiwan practitioners
immediately felt very nervous, as if “a heavy rain would burst.” It
was also getting dark. Everybody on the car was quiet and the car drove forward
silently in the dark.


Next day, Taiwan's TV, newspapers and other media all reported that more than
ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners went to Beijing's Appeals Office to
appeal. The scenes were continuously played: Falun Gong practitioners quietly
stood around Zhongnanhai, [the compound of the CCP central authorities]
some were doing the exercises, and some were reading the book. Ten thousand
people stood there quietly waiting. They were in good order, without slogans and
noises. When they left, they picked up the police's cigarette butts and litter
on the ground, cleaning the area.


Vice director of Taiwan Falun Dafa Association Ms. Huang said that they did
not know anything about the thing happened in Beijing that day because they all
went to Taichung to attend the Fa study of assistants. But next morning, a
reporter from a Taiwan's TV station even waited outside her home to want to
interview her. Because in Beijing, the media maliciously tampered with
interviews with practitioners, Beijing practitioners repeatedly reminded Taiwan
practitioners not to be interviewed. Ms. Huang refused to be interviewed, but
her house still appeared on TV, the reporter said, “This is 'the
headquarters of Falun Gong in Taiwan.'”


Ms. Tsao who was then assistant of Taipei assistant center said, “At the
beginning, we did not prepare to be interviewed by the media, because the thing
happened too suddenly. Actually, the direct cause of the appeal at Zhongnanhai
was that a magazine in Tianjin published an article written by He Zuoxiu that
attacked and slandered Falun Gong. Tianjin Falun Gong practitioners went to the
publishing department to explain the true situation and some practitioners were
later arrested. The CCP took the “April 25th” event as an excuse to
suppress Falun Gong.”


“At that time in Taiwan, not many people heard about Falun Gong except
Falun Gong practitioners. The media soon found us who were in charge of practice
sites. We are all beneficiaries of Falun Gong, so after exchanging
understanding, we decided to take the initiative to clarify the facts about
Falun Gong to the media. At that time, we received endless phone calls, from
media. It seemed that all the media wanted to report on Falun Gong. Their
questions were mostly what Falun Gong is, who is your teacher? Or how many
people practice Falun Gong in Taiwan and so on.”



Turning Point



When taking taxis and talking with the drivers about Falun Gong before [April
25th], they said that they had never heard about Falun Gong. Things were
different then. Falun Gong became famous around the world overnight. Even CNN
broadcast the news. Falun Gong caused a great sensation in the hearts of
Taiwanese people.


Ms. Hong worked in a trade company at the time. She said that many people saw
the banners reading “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” at practice
sites, and felt “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” is very good.
Some other people believed that what the CCP suppresses must be something good.
Many people called practitioners every day to inquire about how to practice
Falun Gong.


Ms. Chu who works in legal system said she saw from the newspaper that more
than ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners had gone to Zhongnanhai, and left not
even a single wastepaper on the ground when they left. She was deeply impressed.
She thought that it must be an unusual practice that was able to educate Chinese
people to have such social ethics, so she called some practitioners to inquire
about the nine-day class.


Mr. Hsu who works at the customs said, “The first thing that my
colleagues in my office talked about every morning was 'Hurry up, take a look at
your Falun Gong news' while holding the newspaper. Before 'April 25th,
there were not many people practicing Falun Gong. I tried very hard and found a
practice site in Keelung where there were about ten to twenty
practitioners.”


Ms. Tsai who works at Hsin Sheng Primary School said, “There was a
practice site at my school in the afternoon. The TV station also came to
interview us at the practice site, and played video of Master Li Hongzhi's
exercise instructions on TV. It was also because of such widespread, more than
20 new practitioners came to our practice site. The number of people attending
the nine-day classes in different places was immediately increased. For a normal
session, there were usually 40 to 50 people. Sometimes the attendees reached
more than 100.”


The media reports about Falun Gong in Taiwan resulted in the nine-day Falun
Gong classes held across Taiwan filling up for every session. The number of
people practicing Falun Gong sharply increased during that period of time.


Ms. Huang said that the nine-day class on Falun Gong was usually held at some
practitioner's living room. After moving tables and chairs to a corner of the
room, they would start playing Master's video lectures. Before April 25th,
the nine-day class held in her home had only over a dozen new practitioners. But
after April 25th, there were at least over 40 people each time, and
the living room was fully packed.


The Fa study site in Songshan Airport had to move to a practitioner's living
room as the original place was too small to hold many people. Civil servant Ms.
Chiu recalled that when it was time to do the exercises, because there were too
many people, they could only move outside and studied the Fa in the open air.


Ms. Chiu said that she attended a nine-day class after she saw an
advertisement while riding in a bus one day late April in 1999. The classed
began on May 1. She remembered that reporters from different media outlets came
to film them when they learned Falun Gong every day. They were asked why they
came to learn Falun Gong. Ms. Chiu said that she did not know what had happened,
just because the reporters came to interview them every day, she learned that
ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners had gone to Beijing to appeal on April 25th.


Ms. Hong at the Songshan Airport Practice Site said that she was shocked upon
hearing that practitioners in mainland China had gone to Beijing to appeal.
“I felt it seemed something would happen. Actually, the CCP had monitored
many assistants and collected information about practitioners. I was concerned
and worried. But seeing the media make such earnest reports, and the number of
people who came to my home to attend the nine-day class to learn Falun Gong
rapidly increase, I felt it seemed to be a good thing. It was another turning
point, because people around the world came to learn Falun Gong at that time,
Falun Gong was also widely known in Taiwan.”



Seeing China Full of Hope



Ms. Hong said that she remembered shortly after she began learning Falun
Gong, she was fortunate to go to Beijing to attend the 3rd
International Fa Conference and go to Changchun to study the Fa and share
experiences with local practitioners. She was greatly inspired through this
trip. She learned that cultivation is to study the Fa, do the exercises and pay
much attention to one's xinxing [moral character]. She also saw China full of
hope. There were 100 million people who were cultivating their minds and
becoming good. The society was full of peace and stability.


“At that time, many practitioners just started practicing for three to
four months. We were still in the phase of healing illnesses and keeping fit.
Beijing practitioners who studied the Fa and shared with us had learned Falun
Gong for three to four years. We studied the Fa at the place where Taiwan
practitioners stayed at the time. I blurted out, “Where are you from?”
They said they rode bicycles here from nearby villages. I then asked how long it
took them to ride here. They answered, “Not too far, only about one and a
half hours.” Wow! They were remarkable, compared with our easy environment
in Taiwan, we felt it was so hard to do so, but they answered so easily. From
this angle, I understood Dafa is so good that they could sacrifice so much for
Dafa, and came so far to come to share with us.”


“The place for us to study the Fa and share experience in Changchun that
time was the place where Changchun practitioners study the Fa at their usual
time. In order to save more room for Taiwan practitioners to sit, they gave away
their seats and stood close to the wall all the way until we finished Fa study
and sharing. The entire room was fully packed. While sharing experiences and
understanding, I felt the obvious distance from local practitioners upon hearing
their understanding of Dafa. I deeply understood what is “Following [the Fa]
in everything, Compliance is cultivation.” (“Solid Cultivation”
from Hong Yin), and also realized the importance of studying the Fa.”


“I had an impression at that time that practitioners in the mainland
attached great importance to personal cultivation, requiring one's own moral
character improved, and conducting themselves following
“Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” on all occasions. With so many
practitioners in China, I suddenly felt that China is full of hope. They were
quite different from Chinese people I had met before when I entered China. After
returning Taiwan, I had planned in my mind when the 4th Beijing
International Fa Conference would be held, I would go to attend. But
unfortunately, Jiang's evil group declared on July 20th to suppress
Falun Gong. We thus lost contact with practitioners in the mainland and have not
reentered the mainland China as of today.”



Practicing Falun Gong Is a Very Normal Activity



Ms. Hong continued that I had been to China twice and saw Dafa was so good
that cultivation was so fortunate, and everything went so smoothly. At that
time, wherever we went, we could meet Falun Gong practitioners. I remembered
once on a bus, when it stopped at a bus stop, I looked outside, and saw a
practitioner (though I did not know him, but there was a Falun emblem on his
clothes, I then knew he was a Falun Gong practitioner.) waiting for a bus. When
doing the exercises at a practice site in the morning, there were so many
practitioners, the scene was grand. If one went there a bit late, sometimes one
even found no room to stand.


At that time, there were many people practicing Falun Gong in different
places overseas.




Group practice of Taiwan practitioners in front of Chung Cheng
Memorial Hall


Ms. Hsia who works in a government organ said, “On 'April 25th,'
I had just been practicing Falun Gong for a year. I was not quite clear about
the entire event, I came to practice because of my poor health, and I only knew
that Falun Gong is very good. I remember that we often went to Chung Cheng
Memorial Hall or Da'an Forest Park on holidays at that time to do the exercises
in a large group to introduce Falun Dafa to the public. We also distributed
flyers. I came to join almost every time.”



“April 25th” Event Inspires A Large Number of People to Practice



Ms. Huang said that after the “April 25th” event, the CCP started a
systematic and large-scale persecution of Falun Gong. Taiwan Falun Gong
practitioners realized that we should help more people learn about the truth of
Falun Gong. Besides going door-to-door to deliver Falun Gong flyers, holding
large-scale group practices and other activities to introduce Falun Gong to the
public and making reports through limited media sources. As there is no Chinese
Embassy in Taiwan, many practitioners made use of all kinds of opportunities to
go overseas to support practitioners in mainland China.



In March 2002, Taiwan practitioners went to Poland to
introduce Falun Dafa, children in Poland learn to practice Falun Gong



Taiwan practitioners go to Greece's Olympic
Stadium to do the exercises and introduce Falun Dafa

Ms. Hong said, “At the beginning, we mainly introduced Falun Dafa to the
public. As there were not many practitioners in Europe, Taiwan practitioners had
visited the entire Europe to make Falun Dafa known to people in Europe. In all
recent activities supporting the mainland China practitioners to counter the
persecution, we could see that a large number of practitioners from Taiwan. They
have played an important role in exposing the CCP's atrocities.”


The media once stated that Taiwan is the base for Falun Gong to revive. As
for Falun Dafa's widespread in Taiwan, the “April 25th” led to a large
number of new practitioners to pour in. It is an important turning point, which
may be beyond the CCP's imagination when it plotted the illegal persecution at
that time.

Posting date: 27/Apr/2007
Original article date: 26/Apr/2007
Category: World News

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