December 11, 2001
(Nuernberg is a medieval German city, rich in history, and became famous also as the location of the Nuernberg Trials for Nazi War Criminals after World War 2- English name is Nuremburg)
Persecuted in China. Members of Falun Gong create awareness about themselves in the Pedestrian Mall. They meditate for hours on end in the icy cold weather. [..] – There is no permanent organization.
by Harmut Voigt
Utilizing their meditation movements as a lead-in, on the occasion of Human Rights Day, the Falun Gong group yesterday raised awareness of the massive persecution of the movement in China.
Many passers-by hasten past the information booth in this Pedestrian Mall without giving it any heed. But Mr. Yuan Zhang is not discouraged. “We want to tell people more about Falun Gong,” said the 39-year-old, who hails from Nuernberg’s sister city of Shenzhen and has lived in the Franconian metropolis for the past two years. “Most important is to not look to others if something goes wrong, but to find the fault in yourself. What can I do to become a better person? That is the central question.”
This Chinese man has practised the five [exercises] for the past three years. His goal is to bring each one to the basic moral principles of “Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance.” That is what makes this practice so attractive for his fellow Chinese, says Mr. Zhang, who also relates that apparently 70 million Chinese citizens are practising this system. “China is full of lies; people have been suppressed for so long,” said the activist who has completed economic studies in his native Asia. “Government corruption is huge; politicians look upon Falun Gong as being dangerous, because they cannot control the movement.”
Tortured and murdered
Professor Mr. Rudolf Wagner concurs with [Mr.Zhang’s] views. He is chairman of the Sinology Institute at the University of Heidelberg. This scientist surmises further that, “The [Chinese] ruling party fears for their organization’s monopoly and lives by the dictum that people outside the Communist party might develop their own spiritual value system.” He sees the manifold critique by the PRC’s authorities as “preposterous.”
Again and again one hears reports of arrests, torture and even killings of men and women who have done nothing [wrong] except practise the exercises together.
Amnesty International and the United Nations have specifically addressed the persecution of Falun Gong members. [..]”
Falun Gong (known also as Falun Dafa) has no formal organization, no membership roster and no leaders. Everyone can join the movement and is free to leave it the same unstructured way. The daily meditation exercises are supposed to bring inner peace, function as an aid to “cultivate the persona” and have concrete health benefits. “The body’s energy field becomes stronger and more active; it will eliminate blockages and one senses a feeling of warmth,” relates a young man from Munich who, on this cold day with the mercury reading at freezing, is demonstrating “holding the wheel”... He is convinced about the efficacy of this system and adheres to the teachings of the founder of this movement, Mr. Li Hongzhi, who had lived in China and now lives in New York. The young Munich practitioner firmly believes that Falun Gong fosters “harmony among people.” [..]
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