Nearly 100 elected officials in New York sent greetings last month to congratulate the 17th World Falun Dafa Day on May 13, which celebrates the anniversary of the public introduction of the meditation practice. This date also coincides with the birthday of Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa.
Levi Browde, director of the Falun Dafa Information Center, said practitioners worldwide celebrate this special occasion because they have benefited from the meditation practice that was introduced to the public in 1992. “About 9,000 practitioners from 53 countries gathered here in New York City for a series of activities between May 11 and 15.”
He said the gathering will be larger next year, because “more and more people are joining the meditation that improves mind and body.”
Greetings from U.S. House of Representatives
Ten members from the House of Representatives sent greetings and proclamations to congratulate World Falun Dafa Day.
Brutal Persecution Continues
The Chinese Communist Party began to suppress Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) in July 1999. The persecution, under which practitioners are systematically arrested, imprisoned, and even tortured for refusing to renounce their faith, continues to today.
Hu Zhiming, 44, a former Major in the Chinese People Liberation Army Air Force, were arrested three times between 1999 and 2005 for his belief, which led to 8 years of imprisonment in total. “At the Tilanqiao Prison in Shanghai, guards deprived me of sleep and access to the toilet. They tied me up on a wooden bed for more than a month and force-fed me unknown drugs.”
Quigley, vice president of an insurance company in New York, said this was the first time he had heard about the atrocity. “I support you, and I think more people need to know this,” he commented before taking handouts to share with his friends.
Zhang, a new immigrant from China, said he learned a lot from the event from Falun Gong practitioners. “Back in China, I didn’t know practitioners suffer so much for their belief, let alone forced organ harvesting,” she said, referring to the state-sanctioned killing of practitioners in China to sell their organs for profit.
Eric Bymel, an Israelian psychologist visiting New York, said he is aware of the suppression in China. He said he also knows that more than 200,000 criminal complaints have been filed against former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin for launching the violent persecution of Falun Gong.
“This is the right thing to do,” Bymel added, “because Jiang deserves it.”
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