(Minghui.org) Practitioners in southern Bulgaria held an event on December 23, 2023, on the stairs of Kamenitsa in the middle of Plovdiv’s main pedestrian street. They demonstrated the Falun Dafa exercises and told people about the ongoing 24-year persecution of the spiritual discipline by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They also collected signatures on two petitions that take a stand against the persecution in China.

The area was crowded with tourists and locals who’d come to shop in the “town under the hills” in the rush before the Christmas holiday. Despite the hustle and bustle of the holidays, many people stopped and talked with practitioners to learn about the human rights violations occurring in China and to express their sympathy.

Practitioners introduce Falun Dafa and raise awareness of the CCP’s persecution.


People Support Practitioners Protesting the Persecution

The practitioners’ banners spelled out the forms of abuse practitioners in China have endured just for persisting in their faith, ranging from police harassment to arbitrary imprisonment to torture, and even falling victim to the CCP’s forced organ harvesting operations, where practitioners are killed on-demand for their organs that are sold by the CCP.

Practitioners prepared two petitions: One condemning the CCP’s numerous human rights violations, both past and present, and another with a specific request to the Bulgarian government. The second petition calls on authorities and officials from the state and municipal administrations of the Republic of Bulgaria to ensure that the Bulgarian state and Bulgarian citizens, doctors, hospitals, medical universities, and companies are not directly or indirectly involved in persecuting and forcibly harvesting organs from living followers of the Falun Dafa spiritual practice.

This second petition was introduced earlier this year and is a way for Bulgarians to take direct action against the persecution in China.

“It’s simply hard to believe that such a cruel and degrading human rights violation is possible!” one man said. This and similar sentiments drove many people to sign the practitioners’ petitions, and some specifically asked how their signature would help stop the persecution in distant China, to ensure that they would have a tangible effect.

Bulgarians sign the petition urging their government to prevent the nation from being involved in the CCP’s forced organ harvesting operations.


Recognition from the Community

The CCP’s persecution has been ongoing since 1999, and practitioners in Bulgaria have raised awareness about these egregious human rights violations since it began.

As their efforts continue, more and more Bulgarians are now aware of the persecution in China. During the event, several people signed without practitioners having to explain much. Many people said they already knew about the issue and wanted to help end the persecution.

One man asked for more information about practicing Falun Dafa and was amazed that the exercises could be done outdoors in all seasons. Practitioners invited him to do the exercises at their weekly practice site, and he said he would.