After attending the Falun Gong activities in Rome on 25th September, a group of nine practitioners from Sweden, Denmark, Taiwan and Canada, flew to Athens, the origin of European civilisation.
As soon as we came out of the airport we met practitioners in Greece who were holding Zhen-Shan-Ren [Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance] and Falun Dafa flags to welcome us. We felt really close towards each other even if it was the first time we had met. After we checked in at the hostel, without any rest, practitioners took Falun Dafa literature and went to central Athens. It was evening time already, and practitioners yellow T-shirts were very eye-catching in the lighted city centre. The Athenians were attracted to the practitioners genuine smiles and many leaflets were given out during the evening.
We also met quite a few Chinese people in the evening. The reason was that Greece had recently granted an amnesty and in order to obtain Greek nationality many Chinese people gathered in the city of Athens. However they obtained something even more precious, Falun Dafa leaflets that tell the truth. Among them were the ones who wished to learn the exercises and buy the books straight away. That was really their true predestined relationship.
II. Revealing the Truth in front of the Chinese embassy, Greece
On the morning of 27th September, our group arrived at the park in front of the Chinese embassy. We were trying to tell the truth to the staff at the embassy. After an hour of exercises, a practitioner wished to visit the toilet, but there was none nearby. Just then we had the thoughts of using the toilet in the Chinese embassy. We put on yellow T-shirts saying China! Stop persecuting Falun Gong and wearing SOS badges, and walked right into the embassy. Inside gathered many visa applicants and we handed out many leaflets in Chinese and Greek. We were so surprised that not a single person refused our materials. People were reading the leaflets carefully while queuing.
The same afternoon we visited the Temple of Apollo. The temple is so famous that it is visited by every tourist who goes to Athens. We brought with us Falun Dafa information in many languages and handed it out to the people we meet. Again we met many Chinese tourists.
We also noticed that the Swastika symbol was engraved onto many items of pottery, dating from 2,500 years ago. It was not difficult at all to explain the meaning of the Swastika in the Falun symbol. The Greek people were very willing to accept materials.
Practitioners also demonstrated the five sets of exercises. Many tourists were attracted to the peaceful movements and the beautiful music. They accepted our leaflets, took photos of us and expressed their sympathy towards the persecution. There was also a bunch of students from Ireland who actually started learning the exercises on site. We were so surprised by their serious attitude.
After dinner we decided to walk back to the hostel. In doing so we would pass the busy areas and have more chances to reveal the truth to people. When we reached the central square we heard noises coming from a distance. We then realised that it was the parade in which participated thousands of people. Practitioners had a really busy time giving out leaflets. Some people in the parade even offered help to give out leaflets. Soon the leaflets we had were finished. Many told us to keep fighting for the human rights and expressed their support.
III. We met the Prime Minister by chance and were on TV in Greece
On the morning of 28th September our group went up to the highest point of the city of Athens. We were going to practise exercises when suddenly a group of people appeared and were busy preparing for some kind of event. They then told us that the Greek Prime Minister was going to attend the opening ceremony of a newly built road. Of course, the mass media would follow. We then worn our yellow T-shirts and stood behind the stage on which the Prime Minister was speaking. We just peacefully did the exercises and were recorded by all media present. Two local practitioners wished to hand a letter to the Prime Minister. The secretary said that they had already received our letter and we could send other materials to the office.
When we returned to the hostel the cleaner on duty told us, Falun Gong! You were on TV!
Between 7 and 10 pm that evening was the time we were permitted to practise in front of the Parliament. We were seen by many people at the Parliament Square. For the first time they heard the divine Falun Dafa music and witnessed the solemn scene. Most of them asked, What is happening? The Danish practitioners met tourists from their home country and took photos with them upon request. A group of Chinese people also watched us for a long time and asked for the contact number, saying that they wished to learn the exercises.
IV. Falun Dafa has come to Greek Islands
We subdivided into three smaller groups. Taiwan practitioners were invited to teach the exercises in a Chinese school. Canadian practitioners went to send letters to the Canadian and American embassies. Swedish and Danish practitioners went to the Greek Islands by ferry. Among the 900 passengers on board many did not know about Falun Dafa.
So we wore our yellow T-shirts and handed out materials in different languages to the passengers. They read them with great interest. We also met a group of Chinese tourists who wished to subscribe to the Chinese newspaper. Whenever we reached a different island, practitioners gave leaflets to the local residents, despite the baking sun.
V. Our visit to Morocco, Milan, Verona and Venice
On 1st October we took a night train from Rome to Milan, Italy. In the evening it happened to be the art festival of Milan and all hostels were full. The local practitioner arranged for us to stay with a friend of his. It was actually a hall of residence for Chinese people. They were very kind to us, especially when they heard that there were white practitioners among us. Many lent us mattresses and blankets.
In the early morning of 2nd October we arrived at the city council and handed out SOS materials. The officials treated the issue seriously and gave us receipts for the materials they had accepted. Then a few of us started practising the exercises in front of the council building. Many citizens were attracted to us and they took the leaflets we handed out. We also met a group of Chinese tourists from Canada. We chatted to them for a long time and they took away the Chinese newspapers. We then distributed a few hundred Chinese newspapers in China town before heading towards Verona another town in Italy.
On 3rd October we arrived in Verona. While we were still at the train station, we met the special royal train. Of course we gave the passengers the leaflets. That same afternoon we went to Venice.
We handed a letter to the city government and also met a journalist. He asked us many questions about Falun Gong and expressed that he would like to write a special report. Many local citizens also expressed their supports towards the Falun Gong practitioners.
By Falun Dafa practitioners in Europe
Monday, 8th October, 2001
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