Falun Gong Practitioners Commemorate April 25 Around the World (Photos)

    Falun Gong practitioners gather in New York on April 25 for a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate. The day, 14 years ago, marks an historic, peaceful appeal in China that was later used as justification to launch a state-sanctioned persecution against the meditation practice of Falun Gong. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

    On April 25, 1999 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners held a peaceful protest in Beijing. They had come to ask the central authorities to release practitioners who had been detained and beaten in a nearby city and for a peaceful and legal environment for the practice of Falun Gong in China. The then-head of the Chinese Communist Party, Jiang Zemin, seized on this event as a pretense for launching the persecution of Falun Gong, which began on July 20, 1999. Each year on April 25 practitioners of Falun Gong around the world gather together to remember the peaceful demonstration of 1999 and to honor those who have been killed during the persecution.