Practitioners of a Chinese spiritual discipline with ancient roots held festivities in Kiev, Ukraine.
Falun Dafa practitioners performed dances, played Chinese drums, and flew a dragon through the streets. They went out there to raise awareness about Falun Dafa and how the Chinese communist regime persecutes people who do the practice.
“We want to bring people warmth and give an invisible pearl, which in China means the key to wisdom, longevity, prosperity, and warmth in the family, so we give all the invisible pearls to them,” said Victor Pozdnyakov.
Practitioners also held a large-scale conference where practitioners came from both Kiev and other areas to share their experiences of practicing Falun Dafa.
“I really found myself in this practice. I realized that I really did not know myself well, and only now do I recognize myself, my true nature, and I can say that it is kind,” said conference participant Andrei Nagornyuk.
The Falun Dafa practice consists of teachings, meditation, and slow-moving exercises. At the core, the practice focuses on Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance, according to Falun Info. When the practice was made public in 1992, it was wildly popular in China, becoming the fastest growing and largest of its kind. An estimated 100 million people across China were practicing in 1999.
After years of support, on July 20, 1999, the Chinese communist regime began a crackdown on Falun Dafa. Communist Party head Jiang Zemin was resentful of the large numbers of people taking up the practice and wanted to make a show of power, according to Falun Info.
Since then, the Chinese communist regime hasn’t allowed practitioners to freely exercise their right to practice Falun Dafa, and has instead subjected them to “brainwashing” sessions, wrongful imprisonment, and rampant torture. Many practitioners have died from the abuse. Experts also believe Falun Dafa practitioners were killed so their organs could be extracted and sold for profit in China’s international organ trafficking trade.