Falun Gong practitioners from Greece, Moldavia, and Cyprus travelled to Lesvos, Greece’s third largest island, to inform people about the practice of Falun Gong and that it is being persecuted in China.
They also demonstrated the exercises and, on the 29th of July, held a screening of the documentary film Transcending Fear – The Story of Gao Zhisheng.
Many Syrian war refugees have poured onto the island this year, exhausting the residents of Lesvos. The Falun Gong practitioners brought an air of hope and positivity to the situation.
In Mitilini, the capital of the island, many of the Syrian refugees were deeply concerned about the persecution of Falun Gong and inspired by the universal values of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Refugee children playing and cycling around the practitioners couldn’t keep their eyes off the practitioners demonstrating the exercises. Eyes shining, they kept the flyer as a treasure.
Even though their country was destroyed they felt empathy for the practitioners being tortured in China. One young Syrian couple said, “What is happening to the people in China is very sad.”
The practitioners demonstrated the exercises and gave out literature at many tourist spots on the island. The Greeks were dismayed to learn about the persecution. Many were also very eager to learn the exercises.
When a woman who was attending a music festival in the village of Petra saw practitioners demonstrating the exercises she said, “I prefer to stay here and learn the Falun Gong exercises instead of going to the dance and music festival.”
In particular, on Anaxos beach, many children ranging in age from four to twelve years old appeared. After the first day one girl asked, “Are you coming tomorrow to do the exercises again?”
In the days that followed, they wanted to practice the exercises again and again, day after day. Then they brought their parents to learn as well.
Another woman on her way to the beach saw the practitioners meditating and stopped. She said, “I saw Falun Dafa practitioners several times on a main street in Athens doing the exercises… I would like to try them now instead of going for a swim.”
A screening of the film Transcending Fear was held on July 29 in the village of Petra in the Pavlos Melas municipal building. Many who saw it were deeply touched.
One man said, “I liked the film even though it was very intense. I understood the hard and difficult reality existing for the people in China today. No freedom for the citizens and no respect for basic human dignity and human values. It’s unbelievable what is still going on in that country.”
The film is about Gao Zhisheng, who was a top lawyer in China. Because of his love for his country and its people, he stood up for those who were being abused. As a result, the Chinese communist regime abducted and tortured him.
Mr. Gao talked about human rights abuses against Falun Gong practitioners and faced the regime with truth and courage like no other lawyer. He sacrificed himself for truth and justice and freedom of belief.
A woman said, “The documentary covered a barbaric issue… The violation of a person’s individuality and freedom. What struck me most is that, even today, this terrorism that violates human values and beliefs continues.”