Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners gathered at the Washington Memorial for a candle light vigil on Friday (July 13), to remember their fellow practitioners who have died during the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of the practice.
Sun Xueming experienced this persecution first hand. Because she practiced Falun Gong, she was illegally imprisoned and tortured by Chinese authorities for her beliefs. She said the vigil brought up strong feelings in her.
[Sun Xuemei, Falun Gong practitioner]:"(This candle lights vigil) reminds me of the many fellow practitioners that I was with in China. Some of them were persecuted to death, and many of them are still in labor camps."
Another practitioner—Mrs. Sun --says Falun Dafa practitioners in China risk persecution and death to spread the truth about the practice, because they want people to choose justice and conscience over the CCP's lies.
[Sun Xuemei, Falun Gong practitioner]:"There are over 10,000 policemen who have participated in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners who have later died of sudden illness. If Chinese people don't know the truth and follow along with the persecution, their future will be miserable. We don't want this to happen. Helping people see the truth is a manifestation of our compassion."
Li Sha, one of the organizers of the vigil, said that Chinese people are coming out against the persecution and the pressure on the CCP is mounting.
[Li Sha, vigil organizer]:"There are anti-persecution petitions circulating with thousands of signatures. Over 120 million people have quit the CCP. Chinese people are waking-up to the truth about the persecution and the party. Falun Gong practitioners' efforts to spread the truth have paid off. Meanwhile, the principals of truthfulness, benevolence and tolerance are rebuilding the moral foundation of Chinese society."
The persecution of Falun Gong began in July of 1999, when Chinese Communist Party leaders decided to ban the practice and commence a violent crackdown on practitioners and their families. Tens of thousands of practitioners have been illegally harassed, detained, imprisoned, and subjected to various forms of torture—often leading to death.
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