2002 Eastern United States Experience Sharing Conference Solemnly Commences in Philadelphia

On November 30, 2002, the Eastern United States Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Centre near Chinatown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Two thousand Falun Gong practitioners from the Eastern United States and all over the world attended this momentous occasion. At a little after 2 pm, Teacher Li came to the conference site to give a Fa-lecture [Fa - Principles of Falun Gong]. Amidst the thunderous applause from the practitioners, Teacher Li opened the lecture with two lines from a famous Tang poem:

"On either shore the gibbons' chatter
sounded without pause
While my light boat skimmed past
ten thousand somber crags."

He told the disciples, "After three years of persecution, the evil has already exhausted its tricks, and Dafa disciples have already become mature after going through the tests." Teacher Li's Fa-lecture lasted approximately 35 minutes.

More than a dozen practitioners from Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and New Jersey of the United States, as well as practitioners from Taiwan and Canada shared their experiences at the conference. A Washington DC practitioner shared experiences about clarifying the truth to Chinese people at tourist hot spots, and a group of Taiwanese practitioners discussed their progression from not daring to call Mainland China to pro-actively calling China to clarify the truth. The "Rescue Our Family Members and Bring Them Home" team shared their understandings. American practitioners also shared their experiences during the activities in Chicago and Houston. Other practitioners discussed more topics such as how to balance the relationship between cultivation, work and daily life, and how to be in harmony with society while validating Dafa. Practitioner Wang Yuzhi, who was recently rescued from the United Arab Emirates to Canada with the assistance of the Canadian government, talked about the cruel persecution she endured in China, and her experiences in using a Dafa practitioner's extraordinary determination to carry on with her beliefs even when threatened with death and to staedfastly hold to her belief in Dafa in the most brutal conditions.

This conference received more than twenty proclamations and congratulatory letters from government officials, including Pennsylvania's US Senator Arlen Spector, the Philadelphia Mayor, the Pennsylvania state senate, numerous state representatives of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and various levels of government in Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Mayor John F Street sent a congratulatory letter to welcome the conference's attendees. He pointed out in his letter that many people all over the world accept Falun Gong, which can lead to inner peace and improvements in behaviour. He expressed that no matter where someone lives, he should not be persecuted for his beliefs or expressing these beliefs. He conveyed his sincere wishes that this conference will deliver a message of hope to everyone who is making a contribution to making this world a better place.

The experience sharing conference concluded at around 7 pm. The next day, the practitioners plan to hold several group discussions focusing on clarifying the truth to Chinese people, introducing Dafa to Western society, and how to elevate as a whole. The practitioners also plan to hold a press conference between noon and early afternoon and a large-scale walk with the theme of "Rescue Our Family Members and Bring Them Home."

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