May 13 this year marked the 13th World Falun Dafa Day and also the 20th anniversary of Falun Dafa’s public introduction. It was also Master Li Hongzhi's 61st birthday. In order to mark this special day and to express their gratitude towards Master, Falun Gong practitioners in Nordrhein-Westfalen held an activity called ‘Falun Dafa Information Day’ in the town centre of Duisburg on Saturday May 12. Falun Gong practitioners from many cities in Nordrhein-Westfalen participated in the activities.
|Demonstrating the Falun Gong exercises|
|People came to find out more|
|After hearing about the persecution against Falun gong in China many people signed a petition calling for an end to the Chinese Communist Party's human rights abuses|
Practitioners who participated in the celebration varied, from western and Chinese who had practised for 14 to 15 years to newcomers who started to practise only a year or a few months ago; from elderly practitioners to teenagers. There were also practitioners from China who had suffered illegal detention and torture by CCP agents.
Detlef Pepper is a software programmer who started to practise Falun Gong due to his poor health. Shortly after beginning, he attended the 1998 European Fa Conference, when Master gave a Fa teaching. He was very honoured to shake hands with Master at the 1998 conference.
For Detlef, this precious experience seemed to have just happened yesterday, especially the feeling of shaking hands with Master. At the Fa Conference, he could clearly feel that Master had cleansed his body. Shortly after he obtained the Fa, he started to promote Falun Gong. After the persecution started in 1999, he immediately devoted himself to activities to stop the persecution. He also gradually brought his elderly mother, a devoted Christian, into Dafa. His mother Eva has now practised Falun Gong for more than 10 years.
Eva is 77 years old this year and once had her own fashion store. After she retired, she worked with Detlef to take part in each weekend’s Dafa activities, rain or shine. Each time, she explained to visitors what Falun Gong was and collected signatures for petitions for hours at a time. She said: “Master told us, those without special skills should go out to distribute leaflets. I cannot do other activities, but I was a saleswoman before and can talk to anyone. I decided to go out to tell people what Falun Gong was. This is also the talent that Master has given to me. One hundred per cent I believe in Master and the Fa.”
Karen is 10 years old this year, and her parents are veteran practitioners. With her parents' help, Karen has practised for nearly 10 years. Born, raised and educated in Germany, she speaks German naturally. When she initially practised Falun Gong, she could only read Zhuan Falun in German. After a period of time, her mother started to help her read Zhuan Falun in the traditional Chinese version, and also asked her to write out one page of Zhuan Falun in traditional Chinese characters. Now Karen is able to study Zhuan Falun in traditional Chinese on her own. She is a very pure young girl, calm and polite. Since it was very windy at the activity, she tried her best to hold the flag when it was nearly blown off, while she was reading Zhuan Falun.
Despite the day's rainy and windy weather, passers by were still very enthusiastic about Falun Gong. According to practitioners, the enthusiasm and interest of the people from Duisburg towards Falun Gong was at an unprecedented high. More than 30 people asked for the venue, time and contact information for the Falun Gong practice sites. Many more people signed the petition to support Falun Gong. Though quite a few practitioners participated in the activities, there were not enough to talk at length with everyone who came by. Some people who wanted to learn the facts about Falun Gong simply grabbed the material from the desk and read them on their own.
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