Over the weekend, practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual group held a parade and rally in New York. The occasion marked the 11th anniversary of a protest in Beijing—when thousands of practitioners appealed for their freedom of belief.
And for more on the events of April 25, 1999—and their dramatic impact on Falun Gong and the rest of Chinese society—watch Part One of our special program, A Decade of Courage. That’s at www.ADecadeOfCourage.com
On Saturday, April 24, more than a thousand Falun Gong practitioners held a parade and rally in Flushing, New York. They were there to appeal for an end to the Chinese regime's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
The date is significant for these practitioners. On April 25, 1999, 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered outside the State Council Appeals Office in Beijing.
They were there calling for the release of practitioners arrested in the nearby city of Tianjin—and for their right to practice the traditional Chinese meditation discipline.
Since 1999, Chinese authorities have engaged in a systematic persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. In its 2009 annual report, Amnesty International called them one of the most harshly persecuted groups in China.
That persecution has led practitioners to bring their appeals outside China—to places like Flushing, one of the fastest-growing Chinese communities in the US.
Eleven years ago, Xue Hairong was one of the many standing outside the Appeals Office in Beijing. In 2000, she was imprisoned and tortured for seven years for practicing Falun Gong. But she says she has no regrets.
[Xue Hairong, Falun Gong practitioner]:
“Even though I’ve experienced these things, I don’t regret the past. I think truth will triumph over evil and a new day will come.”
NTD News, New York.