Sweden: Introducing Falun Dafa at the Linköping City Festival

The Linköping City Festival, known as the Linköpings Stadsfest in Swedish, was held on August 22-27, 2017. It is the biggest annual event in Linköping, the capital of Östergötland Province and the seventh largest city in Sweden. Drawing between 250,000 and 300,000 visitors each year, the nearly week-long series of events include food markets, exhibitions, sporting events, music, dance, and more.

A festivalgoer receives information about Falun Dafa Demonstrating the Falun Dafa meditation

Falun Dafa practitioners took part in the festival this year to introduce the meditation practice and raise awareness of the persecution of Falun Gong taking place in China. Local citizens, as well as visitors from throughout Östergötland, enjoyed the presence of this ancient Chinese practice for improving mind and body.

The practitioners were placed in front of the white walls of the beautiful Saint Lars church. Many people who passed by were happy to take flyers describing Falun Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and how it helps them achieve good health and longevity.

A middle-aged woman took a flyer and talked for a long time with one of the practitioners. She wanted to know how to practice and where she could learn the exercises. The practitioner invited her to join the weekly exercise group. She was impressed by the principles of the practice and was interested to learn that it is different from Tai Chi and yoga.

People talk to a practitioner about Falun Dafa and the ongoing persecution in China Practitioners demonstrate the Falun Dafa exercises during the Linköpings Stadsfest

The woman also wanted to understand why the practice is being persecuted in China. The practitioner told her that the founder of the practice, Mr. Li Hongzhi, first introduced Falun Dafa to the public in his hometown of Changchun in 1999, and within seven years, Falun Dafa became the most popular movement in China, attracting between 70 million and 100 million people from all walks of life. This did not go unnoticed by the ruling Communist Party, whose leader at the time, Jiang Zemin, saw Falun Dafa as a threat to his political power and became jealous of its popularity.

On July 20, 1999, Jiang Zemin declared Falun Gong a banned movement and ordered its elimination, despite resistance from most of the Politburo members and lack of legal grounds to do so. In the national campaign that ensued, hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong adherents were harassed, arrested, detained, and tortured in labor camps, jails, and psychiatric hospitals. Thousands have lost their lives.

One man stopped to read the banner and expressed his amazement that he had never heard of Falun Dafa and the persecution before. He took copies of all available information, including a report on the Chinese regime's state-sanctioned harvesting of organs from living Falun Dafa practitioners for profit. He was also very interested in learning Dafa.

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