(Minghui.org) Practitioners in Bulgaria held several activities in Sofia, Plovdiv, and Velingrad to mark International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2023. They screened a movie and held a car tour to raise awareness of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution and to call on people to help end the brutality.
On Saturday, December 9, Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) practitioners held an activity at their usual location on Plovdiv’s Main Street. They collected signatures on two petitions: One condemning the CCP’s many human rights atrocities, and the other calling on the Bulgarian government to end any Bulgarian involvement in the CCP’s forced organ harvesting from practitioners.
Antonina stopped to talk and learned about the persecution and how practitioners in China were tortured for their faith. She said that it reminded her of her grandfather, who was imprisoned in the Belene Labor Camp because he was accused of opposing the Bulgarian Communist Party.
She signed both petitions. “Every Bulgarian must sign, and people all over the world should sign to oppose such cruel persecution,” she said.
On Sunday, December 10, in Plovdiv, the practitioners screened the documentary film Letter from Masanjia at the Lucky House of Cinema. The award-winning film tells the true story of a practitioner’s experiences in a Chinese forced labor camp and how he was able to communicate with a woman in the United States to seek help through a smuggled letter.
Before the movie, Kerka, the host practitioner, spoke briefly about the film’s themes and invited audience members to share their experiences after the screening. The people in the audience were empathetic about the plight of Sun Yi, the practitioner in the film, and asked many questions about the persecution he endured.
One person in the audience, Vasil, said that he had been in America for a long time and had heard about Falun Dafa while he was there. He left Bulgaria because his family was persecuted for being supporters of Nikola Petkov, an anti-communist political leader who was tried and executed by the Bulgarian Communists, so he sympathized with the Falun Dafa practitioners in China.
Vasil said that he believes it is courageous to stand up for one’s convictions and beliefs and that one cannot live in a world without Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
After the screening and discussion, several in the audience signed the practitioners’ petition to condemn the CCP’s human rights abuses.
Raising Awareness in Velingrad
The town of Velingrad is one of the largest spa resorts in Bulgaria. Located in the western part of the Rhodope Mountains, it is known as the “Spa Capital of the Balkans” with 80 mineral springs.
On Sunday, December 10, 2023, practitioners in Velingrad held an event in the city to tell the people there—both vacationers and locals—about the persecution of Falun Dafa by the communist regime in China. Even though it was December, many people were out enjoying the sunny weather. They stopped to learn about Falun Dafa and how the CCP is persecuting it.
Car Tour in Bulgaria’s Capital
Cars driving through Sofia with large signs atop their roofs drew the attention of hundreds of people on Monday, December 11, 2023. The goal of the car tour was to introduce Falun Dafa and expose the CCP’s persecution.
Three police cars and two police vans escorted the procession as it wound through the central streets of Sofia. The practitioners’ cars also stopped in the “triangle of power” in Sofia—the location of the buildings of the President, the National Assembly, and the Ministerial Council.
The parade drew the attention of citizens, tourists, and visitors to the capital, who learned of the illegal and unjust persecution of Falun Gong in China. Many pedestrians stopped to read the messages on the cars, and many people leaned out of their cars and took photos.
The signs on the cars, written in Bulgarian, displayed messages about the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong, such as: “The CCP Tortures and Murders Falun Gong Practitoners” and “End the CCP to Stop the Killing!”
There were also banners with messages about the practice of Falun Dafa, with the words Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance written in both English and Chinese. On one of the cars, the message read, “Falun Dafa – An Ancient Practice for Cultivating Spirit and Body.” Throughout the entire event, an audio recording played information about the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Dinko Mitev, a practitioner representative, said he hoped the car parade conveyed the important messages to more people. For this reason, practitioners from all over the country took part in the motorcade.
The Sofia police were very cooperative and supported the car procession for its entire duration—over two hours. Although police officers are not allowed to express their personal opinions while in uniform, they did express their sympathy for practitioners in China after learning that they are being persecuted for practicing Falun Dafa.
Practitioners set up a booth just outside the main entrance of the Presidential Palace and told people about the 24-year-long persecution and handed out leaflets. Many passersby signed the petitions and said they wanted to take a stand against the CCP’s persecution.
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