Falun Dafa Practitioners from New Zealand celebrated World Falun Dafa Day today, May 13, the day on which its founder, Mr Li Hongzhi’s birthday falls.
May 13 is the 20th anniversary of the day when Mr Li Hongzhi first introduced the practice of Falun Dafa to the people of China and then to the entire world.
Falun Dafa is an ancient spiritual practice which was reintroduced into China in 1992. The practice involves five easy to learn exercises, including a meditation and teachings that are based on truthfulness, compassion and tolerance.
After attracting nearly 100 million followers in China, it was banned by the Chinese regime of Jiang Zemin on 20th July 1999, after which thousands of practitioners suffered tremendous human rights abuses including death, torture, rape, imprisonment without due process. In 2006 it was also discovered that they were victims of live organ harvesting.
Practitioners from Auckland and other regions of New Zealand gathered together at Elizabeth Square in the downtown central business and shopping district where they carried out Dafa’s five exercises and read Zhuan Falun, the gift that Mr Li Longzhi gave the world.
Josiel Sandro Rodrigues had kept a Falun Dafa pamphlet at home for some time awaiting the opportunity to learn to do the exercises and gain an understanding about the practice. Today was that day, he said.
“It is very good, awesome,” he said. “I think it is very beneficial.”
At the same time, Mr Rodrigues signed the petition asking that the Chinese communist regime cease the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners in China.
Mr Rodrigues said he had, himself, never experienced communism or heard about the persecution in China.
“It is very sad,” he said. But he was hopeful for the future.