Followers of the Chinese system for self-refinement recently met in Sofia’s Borissova Gradina wearing yellow t-shirts.
“Falun Gong makes us better, more tolerant, more truthful with high morale, and completely healthy. It is a way of living,” they say, having just finished meditating for an hour. It is nine o’clock in the morning and some of them have come to do exercises that the practice espouses. They also teach them to anyone who wishes to learn, or they use the opportunity to tell people about the persecution of Falun Gong members in China by the Communist regime, which has been going on for more than eight years.
Kremena has been practicing for several years. She came about the system after setting out on a search for the meaning of life, and found it through Falun Dafa. Zahari, or Zaro, as his friends call him, introduced her to it.
He was practicing martial arts, but wanted to find something more interesting, and went to the internet. What he found was something that explained the essence of Eastern qigong practices. Qigong is a general term for all the Eastern practices that deal with cultivation of “qi”, or the vital energy of the human body. Zahari came upon the Bulgarian version of the Falun Dafa website, which is maintained by a Bulgarian follower who lives with his family in Australia. The man in Australia had also translated some of Falun Dafa's books and audio-video materials. Zahari passed on his enthusiasm about the practice not only to Kremena, but also to a number of his friends.
His wife Tsveta came along out of curiosity. Even though she was interested in questions about religions and various philosophical teachings, she was afraid to explore deeper because of the many phoney practices that exist. With the passing of time, however, Tsveta, an architect, saw how Falun Gong changed Zahari. So she began to read the books and later started practicing.
Over the years Bulgarian followers have been making steady efforts to reveal the truth about the persecution of the Falun Gong in China. Although the number of practitioners in Bulgaria is far smaller than in neighbouring countries like Turkey, Greece, Romania and Ukraine, practitioners are confident that they are up to date with Falun Dafa activities around the world, where more than 100 million people practice.
Reality in China
In 1999, a great danger presented itself the Chinese followers of this ancient practice. At that point in time, they numbered about 10 percent of China's population, or almost twice the amount of members of the Chinese Communist Party. Driven by spite and jealousy as well as by party ideology, which completely opposes Falun Gong's main principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, the former communist leader Jiang Zemin launched a nationwide campaign of persecution that continues to this day. He ordered the specially established 6-10 office to “physically and mentally destroy” the Falun Gong. The inhumane torture to which practitioners have been subjected has caused the death of more than 3000 people.
In 2006, the former secretary of state of Canada David Kilgour, along with international human rights lawyer David Matas, published a report confirming the allegations that Falun Gong practitioners jailed in labour camps and prisons across China without due process of law were forced to be organ donors. The authors of the report called this phenomenon “a new form of evil unseen on this planet before” and visited many countries to raise awareness about evidence of cruelty by Communist China.
Kilgour came to Bulgaria, invited by the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, in April 2007 and introduced his report at a forum in Grand Hotel Bulgaria. The report, since translated into Bulgarian language, has had thousands of copies circulated and has attracted public attention despite a lack of media publicity. (more)