Falun Dafa practitioners held activities at Syntagma Square in Athens on July 17, 2021, to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the persecution of Falun Dafa in China. Many local residents and tourists asked practitioners about Falun Dafa and signed the petition calling to end forced live organ harvesting in China.
Greece is the birthplace of Western civilization. Syntagma Square is the central square of Athens and is right next to the Greek Parliament. It is close to many cultural remnants and is the political and cultural center for the Greek people. It is thus a meaningful and significant place for Falun Dafa practitioners to hold activities to raise awareness and peacefully resist the persecution.
|Falun Dafa practitioners demonstrate the exercises|
Practitioners demonstrated the exercises, and several practitioners distributed flyers and answered people's questions.
Many people asked practitioners: “What is Falun Dafa?” and “Why is the CCP persecuting Falun Dafa?” People living a democratic country found it horrifying that such a brutal persecution exists in China. Many people expressed interest in the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance after reading the poster boards and chatting with practitioners.
|Local residents and tourists learn about Falun Dafa|
A lady from Ukraine told practitioners that she had studied the Chinese language in Beijing and had given herself a Chinese name: Aya. She was surprised to hear about the persecution.
“I’d never heard about Falun Dafa after living in Beijing for so many years,” she said. A practitioner told her that media outlets in China are censored and people do not have freedom of speech. It was thus hard for people to know about Falun Dafa. Aya said agreed and said that while she was in China she was unable to use some software. She was very sympathetic toward practitioners who are being persecuted in China and said she agreed with the principles of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” A practitioner gave her a paper lotus flower and Aya tied it to her backpack. She said, “Thank you for telling me this. I wish you all the best!”
|Local residents petition to end the persecution of Falun Dafa|
A policeman on duty named Costa said: “The exercises look like martial arts, but in a more peaceful manner.” He was very sympathetic after hearing that practitioners in China are subjected to forced live organ harvesting. He was not surprised at the CCP’s actions, and said: “Falun Dafa is targeted in China because it is under a communist regime.”
A practitioner explained that the goal of holding activities like the one today was to have more people become aware of the persecution happening in China, to expose the CCP's evil crimes and to have more people become compassionate and stop the persecution. Costa kept the truth-clarification flyer that the practitioner had given him and said that he will read it carefully. When the activity ended, Costa walked over to bid practitioners farewell. He also asked about local group practice sites and said he hoped to see them again.
A Greek lady stood by the poster boards for a long time and then said to a practitioner: “I had always thought that 'Forbearance' was a modern day ideology. I would never have thought that people during ancient times knew to have Forbearance as well.” She inquired about how to download lectures given by the founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi, and said she hopes to learn more about Falun Dafa.
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