For the last twenty years St. Nikolai church has been the location of forums for all those who are in opposition [to the government’s prevailing thoughts] and think independently. Those people take advantage of their opportunity to voice their opinions in that place. (Leipzig is an old university town, a culturally and architecturally as well as musically significant former East-German city, which had been under communist rule for decades; translator). The church of St. Niklolai prevailed, even during the critical years, especially before the “turn” in the year 1989. This place withstood the pressures from the state. During their peace prayer services, people were able to tell the truth, tell who had been arrested and hunted, who had disappeared at the hands of the feared state authorities. Everything was brought out in the open in this special place.
Someone from that church invited Falun Gong to attend a church service on the 5th of November 2001 and speak about the persecution of Falun Gong in China. Among those present was the Chinese artist and painter, Mrs. Zhang Cuiying, who has been an Australian citizen for the past six years and who was the main speaker. Over 200 patrons attended the service and listened to the artist’s presentation, which centered on the brutal Falun Gong persecution in China. Mrs. Zhang retold her personal story of gruesome prison experiences during her incarceration while on a visit to China. She had been brutally abused, simply because she spoke out about the inhumane persecution. Mrs. Zhang appealed for help from people from all walks of life to do everything in their power to rescue those Falun Gong practitioners who are forever tortured, abused and mistreated in Chinese prisons and some of whose lives are in danger.
She related some specific incidents at the hands of Chinese police who are under orders from Jiang Zemin. She also related the bravery of the practitioners and their unwavering tenacity toward their belief system. In the face of severe tribulations, those practitioners have demonstrated their genuine conviction of compassion and forbearance. Here is what she said:
“You can actively help me to end this domestic terrorism against China’s own citizens. Please, do tell your relatives and friends about the things you have heard here today and tell them the story of my own experiences. Please support the determined practitioners in China with your good hearts and condemn the demonic nature of all things, it does not matter in which form it manifests itself. Each upright thought destroys a hundred evils. Every individual abroad who becomes aware of the plight of these peaceful practitioners and their gruesome treatment and takes those people into their heart will strengthen the power of all good men [in the world] who abhor any kind of force.”
It was quiet in this packed church during Mrs. Zhang’s presentation. There was much applause at the conclusion of her speech. A student who had been present at Mrs. Zhang’s presentation at the university that afternoon was among the attendees at the church for the sole purpose of once more listening to the presentation.
Two days earlier, the practitioners had presented the truth about Falun Gong at the Dresden (another German city) Ecology Centre, and encountered a receptive audience.
The pastor of St. Nikolai supported and encouraged us and arranged for a table for us at the door where we could display Falun Dafa materials. Many people signed the petition at the conclusion of the church service, and some began dialogue with practitioners. The pastor told us, “It is vitally important for you to have been here today.”
Zhang Cuiying had several interviews with journalists during her stay in the cities of Dresden and Leipzig.
Practitioners in Germany
November 7, 2001
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