Bulgaria: Practitioners Introduce Falun Dafa and Expose the Persecution to People Celebrating the Chinese New Year in Sofia

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On January 29th 2006, Bulgarian practitioners gathered in front of the National Palace of Culture in downtown Sofia. The event marked the start of the Chinese New Year the year of the Dog. Falun Gong practitioners were the only ones who celebrated the Chinese New Year in Sofia and pleasantly surprised the citizens of the capital by wishing them “Happy Chinese New Year”.

Practitioners put up a big poster to greet people, arranged a small exhibition with photos, books and magazines showing what Falun Gong is all about, how popular it is in many countries around the world and how practitioners are tortured, even to death, in China. Adjacent to the exhibition site one of the practitioners organised a workshop for making paper lotus flowers and everybody could sit there and make one lotus flower on his/her own. Many were attracted to the workshop and took the chance to learn how to make lotus flowers.

Children were very happy to take a colourful balloon with the words “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance” written on it to play with.

In the meantime practitioners gave everyone who passed by a handmade paper lotus flower, a symbol of the purity and beauty of Falun Gong, and a flyer about the ancient Chinese cultivation practise and its ruthless persecution by the Communist regime in China. When learning about the persecution, many people gave their support by signing the petition appealing for the end of the persecution and expressed their surprise and indignation that such a peaceful meditation practise could be persecuted so cruelly. Others understood right away when they heard about the repression, as they were aware of the Communist methods used also in Bulgaria several years ago. Practitioners explained to people in details how the persecution started, how many people who wanted to do the exercises of Falun Gong are thrown into labour camps, tortured in psychiatric hospitals and jails and that there are about three thousand officially confirmed deaths due to police violence.

Several people expressed their personal interest in Falun Gong and promised to come to the practise site. One of them even exclaimed, “This is just what I have been looking for!”

For the first time the event was covered by most of the national TV and daily newspapers, as well as by the news agencies in the country. Many journalists interviewed practitioners about the philosophy and the exercises of Falun Gong and listened with interest to the story of the ongoing repression in China. Some of them also signed the petition.

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