NEW YORK CITY, NY—Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners marched through Brooklyn’s Chinatown on October 2 despite heavy rains and cold winds, ending 23 years of the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of religious groups. called to hit
Despite wearing yellow plastic rain jackets, many of the participants were drenched in the rain and carried banners and signs urging people to distance themselves from the myriad abuses perpetrated by the Communist regime. Helped over 400 million people who have cut ties with .
But the wind and rain are nothing compared to what followers have experienced in China, said Yi Long, organizer and president of the Falun Dafa Association in New York.
“There is no way for practitioners to hold a parade in mainland China. [like this]’” Yi told The Epoch Times. “If you practice Falun Gong, you can be arrested, convicted, and even killed.”
During the CCP’s more than 20-year crackdown on religious groups, countless Falun Gong adherents have been tortured while being held in prisons, labor camps, detention centers, and brainwashing centers across the country. and died from forced organ harvesting. .
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, includes meditative exercises and a set of moral teachings based on the principles of truth, compassion, and tolerance. By 1999, from an estimated 70 million to 100 million he attended the practice, and after the group’s soaring popularity, it itself became the target of Beijing’s crackdown.
Parade participant He Aishan, who recently arrived in the United States from central China’s Hubei province, shared her own experience of persecution.
“It may be very difficult for people in a free society to imagine this. Post-1999 China has done nothing wrong, just believes in Falun Gong and ‘Truth, Compassion, Tolerance.’ Good people will suffer vicious persecution from China. Communist Party of China,” she told The Epoch Times.
He started practicing Falun Gong while in high school, before he was persecuted. She said that her decision helped her studies and health. But after 1999, everything changed. Her mother was also a practicing physician, and she was sent to labor camps twice, detained, and sent to brainwashing facilities multiple times.
When he was at the university, the university encouraged her to be detained in a labor camp, where she was forced to undergo psychologically tortured brainwashing classes.
Ahead of the 2012 major party convention, authorities stepped up the persecution of Falun Gong and sought to attract known supporters. His family was targeted again. She was tracked down by the police and her phone was tapped. The police ransacked her house and arrested her mother again. He avoided this fate because she was not at her home at the time. However, when her father came home to find his apartment overturned, he collapsed, suffered a stroke and later died.
“My family was and remains disintegrated by the CCP’s persecution,” she said.
Passing by, Liu Aling was impressed to see Falun Gong practitioners brave the torrent conditions. She herself grew up in mainland China, and she said it was difficult for mainlanders to get uncensored information about the spiritual practices that the regime detested.
“In China, websites only give good news. They censor all bad news,” Liu told the Epoch Times.
On the Internet, on television, and in print, the only information about Falun Gong is Chinese Communist Party propaganda aimed at denigrating Falun Gong and inciting public hatred against it. Information about persecution is heavily censored on the Internet controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
So Liu didn’t believe what was happening in China.
After coming to the United States and gaining access to uncensored news sources and websites, I gradually came to understand that the persecution of Falun Gong is real.
“It’s just too frightening,” Liu said, explaining the regime’s violations of its rights by targeting its supporters.
She also noted that she quit the party not long after coming to New York and joined the Young Pioneers of the Communist Party of China in elementary school, like virtually all other children.
Today, more than 400 million Chinese have renounced ties with the CCP or its affiliates.
Liu hopes that more Chinese people living in the United States will be able to use the freedom of the country to learn about the situation in China. She hopes that the people of her home country will be given more freedom and the freedom to practice the faith they choose.
“I hope this kind of persecution will end,” she said.
Linda Lin contributed to the report.