Finland: "You must be good people"

April 11th, 2009, was one of the best days Helsinki had seen since last winter. The sun was shinning brightly and spring was in the air. Falun Gong practitioners in Finland came to the square on the north side of Helsinki Central Train Station for an event to introduce Falun Gong and expose the persecution in China. Practitioners set up displays, displayed banners reading “Falun Dafa is good”, “Stop persecuting Falun Gong”, etc., distributed leaflets to passers-by, and raised awareness about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s persecution of innocent Falun Gong practitioners.

It was the day before Easter and busier than usual. People were not in as much of a hurry as normal. Some gave practitioners friendly smiles. Many stopped in front of the exhibits to read carefully. Some were especially interested in the exercise demonstration.

The mother of practitioner Xiao Jin was once diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. By practising Falun Gong, she managed to survive. For not giving up her beliefs, she was illegally detained on numerous occasions. After being arrested in July 2007, she was sentenced to eight years in jail. The day before mum’s arrest, Xiao Jin came to Finland to visit with her fiancé, luckily escaping persecution. At present, Xiao Jin has no choice but to seek political asylum in Finland as she will also face persecution if she goes back to China. Xiao Jin held a SOS plaque in front of her to raise awareness of her mum’s situation, calling for rescue.

A middle-aged tourist came to the stand, “Is it about human rights abuses in China? May I sign?” Before practitioners could answer, he said that he knew about the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong. Having signed, he called over his partner from nearby and urged her, “Sign your name here. This is a terrible thing. These people have been persecuted for many years in China.”

A group stopped and started chatting with western practitioners. As it turned out, they were Uygurs from Xinjiang Province. They knew and despised the CCP. Some of them knew Falun Gong practitioners and learned the truth of Falun Gong being innocently persecuted. Some who had signed the anti-persecution petition wanted to sign it again. As members of a minority group in the border area, they suffered the CCP’s persecution a great deal as well. It had been 14 years since one of them had to leave his homeland. They wished practitioners good luck as they parted ways.

A lady who watched the exercise demo for a long time went over to inquire about learning the practice. Answering warmly, practitioners promised to be in touch and to send her the materials. The lady said that practitioners’ smiles seemed very endearing, “You must be good people.”

A Chinese lady asked practitioner Lao Gu in surprise, did the Finnish government give you permission for this? She was told that the event was approved and held almost every week. Falun Gong has spread across more than 80 countries in the world. It is legal here as well. The lady left China for work in Sweden not long ago. She came to Finland for a visit over the long weekend. She asked where Swedish practitioners would hold activities and commented heartily, “It is really nice here.”

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