Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Banner Announces: "Falun Dafa Is Good"


Qiao Shi Yue displays Falun Dafa meditative exercises
at College Park, Toronto

Photo (May 26, 2009) © Jerome D'Costa

Qiao Shi Yue, an elderly diminutive Chinese lady, and her husband tie a banner in between two trees at College Park, Toronto, announcing in Chinese and English "Falun Dafa Is Good." They then display Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong) meditative exercises to early morning passers-by who do their daily walks and exercises in the park and others who go to their work places. There are some other Chinese who also join them in this morning ritual. This is almost a common scene every morning from late Spring to late Summer every year.

What Is Falun Dafa or Falun Gong?

According to the official brochure of this movement, Falun Dafa or "Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline. It brings together meditation, energy exercises, and moral teachings as a means to cultivating the mind and body, with the ultimate aspiration being spiritual transformation, or what in the East is known as enlightenment." This traditional Chinese spiritual discipline is Buddhist in nature. Truth, compassion and forbearance are the core values of this movement.

Background of This Movement

Falun Dafa is an ancient practice that has been privately passed down from one generation to another. In 1992, Mr. Li Hongzhi, called a Master or Teacher, first taught Falun Dafa publicly in the city of Changchun in China. He also visited different parts of the country to lecture on and teach this spiritual discipline. The number of practitioners grew exponentially and, by 1998, there were about 70 million practitioners in China. Today, it is claimed that, over 100 million people in over 70 countries practise Falun Dafa.

Chinese Government Position on the Falun Dafa

Initially, the Chinese government was in favour of the Falun Dafa. In 1993, Mr. Li Hongzhi was named the "Most Welcomed Qigong Master" in Beijing by a government body with the Award for Advancing Frontier Science. In the same year, The People's Public Security News, the official newspaper of China's Ministry of Public Security, praised Mr. Hongzhi for his contributions "in promoting the traditional crime-fighting virtues of the Chinese people, in safeguarding social order and security, and in promoting rectitude in society." There were many other appreciations of this movement in China.

Then in 1999 things began to change in China. The Chinese government began to see the extraordinary growth of this movement as a threat to the nation. The government banned the practice and started to take any means necessary to eliminate this movement in China.

Mr. Yafei He, minister and deputy chief of mission at the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., USA, told the Mojave Desert News on January 11, 2002: "Falun Gong has now lately displayed a tendency to be violent, to engage in terrorist activities. If they are allowed to have freedom of action or activities wherever they are, it could pose danger."

The Chinese Embassy in Canada in a statement on July 26, 2006 also condemned the Falun Dafa (Falun Gong).

Persecution of Falun Dafa Members in China

The Falun Dafa claims that its members are systematically persecuted, tortured and even killed by the government machinery in China. They claim it to be the largest human rights violation and religious persecution in the world.

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