Bubbling joy—and a tinge of sadness—mark the celebrations of World Falun Dafa Day in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and especially China today.

May 13 marks the day when the practice of Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, was introduced widely in China in 1992, and since then, an estimated more than 100 million have embraced the practice.

People who take up this practice attest to improved health, vitality, harmonious relationships, and inner peace from doing it. Many enthusiastically share about recovery from various physical problems and diseases after taking up Falun Dafa.

The essence of Falun Dafa is meditation, gentle exercises, and studying the teachings of the practice. The teachings are about learning to live a life of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Those are the principles of the universe, according to Falun Dafa, and they are what practitioners endeavor to live by every day.

Joy and gratitude are evident on the faces of practitioners in more than 50 countries who gather at this time every year to hold parades and musical performances and pose for group photos to say, “Thank you” to the founder of Falun Dafa, Mr. Li Hongzhi. Government officials around the world also issue proclamations lauding the practice.

Concern for the persecuted in China

Yet there is sadness on this day, too. Tens of millions of Falun Dafa cultivators are unable to practice openly in China, in spite of the fact that Falun Dafa represents the best of traditional Chinese culture.

In 1999, with the number or practitioners growing large, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) banned Falun Dafa and began rounding up practitioners. It was the beginning of a vicious, senseless campaign that has caused an unknown number of deaths and continues to this day.

This persecution campaign has resulted in imprisonment, torture, loss of employment, loss of schooling, disability, orphans, widows, widowers, and death. Perhaps the most soul-shaking aspect has been the harvesting of organs from practitioners while they are still alive in order to sell the fresh organs for transplant, which profits CCP officials. In response, some countries have passed laws against their citizens going to China for “transplant tourism.”

Practitioners have always been peaceful and positive contributors to their workplaces and Chinese society as a whole, boosting moral behavior and exemplifying truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The CCP’s justifications for the persecution are all fabrications.

Among the celebrations of Falun Dafa Day around the world, there will be memorials to the dead practitioners, and appeals to end the persecution in China.

In New York City this week, an estimated 8,000-10,000 practitioners from many countries will gather to parade with joy and solemnity through Manhattan, do the exercises together, and hold an experience-sharing conference.

The BL will have more on the practice and the persecution of Falun Dafa this week.

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