Falun Gong practitioners in Greece held a series of events to commemorate 13 years of the persecution of Falun Gong in China. The spiritual practice has been violently suppressed by the communist regime since 1999.
Practitioners gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy Visa Office in Athens on July 20, 2012, to call for the end of the persecution and mourn the deaths of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners killed at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for their belief.
|Falun Gong practitioners meditate in front of the Chinese Embassy Visa Office, in Athens on July 20.|
Many Chinese people visited the Visa Office and witnessed practitioners' peaceful protest. Some stopped by to speak to the practitioners and condemn the CCP for its abuse of human rights. After learning the facts about the persecution, one young man said, “It’s safer to quit CCP,” and agreed to quit the CCP's Young Pioneers and Youth League organizations on the spot. Another man yelled, “Falun Dafa is great!” as he and his female companion passed by. The woman took some informational materials to learn more.
At the end of the event, one of the policemen told the practitioners: “I can feel your positive and peaceful energy.” The policemen expressed their support to Falun Gong practitioners.
Exposing the persecution in front of the Greek Parliament Building
Practitioners continued exposing the persecution on July 21, as they held additional activities in the busy Syntagma Square, in front of the Greek Parliament Building. Wearing traditional yellow costumes, they demonstrated the five sets of Falun Gong exercises and displayed poster boards with information about Falun Gong and the persecution in China.
|Passers by and tourists read display boards about Falun Gong and the persecution in Syntagma Square, Athens.|
|Practitioners demonstrate Falun Gong exercises.|
In the evening, practitioners held a candlelight vigil to honour thousands of practitioners who have died as a result of the persecution in China over the past 13 years. They sat peacefully in the square with lit candles in their hands, while passers by continued to learn the facts by reading the display boards.
|A candlelight vigil in Syntagma Square in honour of practitioners who have died as a result of the persecution in China.|
Numerous people, including local Chinese residents and tourists from mainland China, as well as people of many other nationalities and cultures, stopped by to read the information and speak to practitioners throughout the day. Many expressed interest in learning Falun Gong and were shocked by the brutality of the persecution. Many also signed a petition to show their support and call for the end of the persecution.
Five Chinese people quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations on the spot. One tourist said: “I’m quitting to be safe. You are right. Those who browse on the Internet all know the terrible things the CCP has done.” An elderly Chinese gentleman said: “I’ve been living abroad for many years and haven't visited China for a long time. The CCP is still the same! My grandfather used to be a landlord. My whole family was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution.”
|Falun Gong practitioners do the exercises in the park near Syntagma Square.|
Practitioners also taught the Falun Gong exercises to the public in a park near Syntagma Square. A local woman said, “I didn’t know one could learn such great exercises in Greece. I'm so happy I came today! I’ll certainly come back!”
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