Belgium: Event in Brussels Commemorates April 25 Peaceful Appeal

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On April 20, 2024, Falun Gong practitioners in Belgium commemorated the April 25 Peaceful Appeal in 1999 by holding an event near a commercial street in Brussels. They demonstrated the exercises, and talked to people about Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) and how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) persecutes the spiritual discipline.

Historic Moment

On April 25, 1999, some 10,000 practitioners gathered at the central appeals office in Beijing, as Tianjin officials instructed them. The gathering was peaceful and orderly.

Many people stopped and talked with practitioners during the event in Brussels. Some asked where they could learn the practice. One woman wanted to donate money to help practitioners in their efforts to end the persecution. The practitioners thanked her for her support but politely declined, and explained that Falun Gong does not accept donations.

Freedom of Belief Is an Inherent Right of All People

As they passed by the booth, Sofie and her daughter stopped to watch the exercise demonstration. Amidst the bustling market, the exercises were so peaceful and serene, said Sofie.

She also noticed the banner calling for the end to the CCP’s crime of live organ harvesting of practitioners. To help stop the persecution, she signed a petition.

She said, “Freedom of belief, which Europeans consider an inherent right, must also be the case in China. No one should be imprisoned for this.” She said, “I strongly support your efforts to expose the persecution. I hope that my signature on this petition will make a difference.”

She added, “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are principles that everyone can accept and understand. Everyone needs these principles.” She took some materials to give to the mothers of her two Chinese students.

Hadje, from the Philippines, teaches at the Brussels International School. He also teaches philosophy, geopolitics, and world religion courses online at universities in different countries (Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc.).

He said that he only heard about the persecution of Christians in China before and was unaware of the persecution of Falun Gong. He went online and read about the persecution and was shocked.

He said, “I am shocked. I would like to learn more about the persecution, and I will incorporate this into my teaching.”

Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Is For Everyone

Young Emiel and his friends studied the display boards and watched practitioners do the exercises.

They told practitioners, “Organ harvesting is unbelievable.” They said this was the first time they heard of the persecution and said it was too terrible. They asked the practitioners for more information about it.

Some of them said, “Many blogs on the Internet said the CCP uses the bodies of those from whom organs have been removed [to make models], and they exhibited their bodies in museums.”

They said they knew practitioners would be in danger if they returned to China because China is a communist authoritarian state. In China, one cannot freely express personal opinions if one disagrees with the CCP. Otherwise, one will be arrested and imprisoned. They admired practitioners’ courage and said, “You are risking your lives to expose the truth about the persecution, which is admirable.” They also said, “We hope Falun Gong practitioners can reunite with their families soon.”

They initially thought it would be difficult to stop the persecution. However, when practitioners reminded them how Eastern Europe ended communist rule and disintegrated instantly, they felt confident. They said, “If we all oppose [the CCP’s persecution], we can change it. All our families and friends will oppose the CCP’s evil persecution. We hope this will help you.”

Practitioners told them that Falun Dafa teaches people to be good and become better individuals. All materials about Falun Gong can be freely downloaded from the Internet.

Dilindi and her friend, Alex from Italy, were interested in learning Falun Gong after watching practitioners demonstrate the exercises.

Dilindi said, “The exercises are beautiful.” Alex agreed, adding, “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is suitable for everyone. It’s great for humanity. It’s good to have consideration for others and be less selfish.”

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