Located in the north of the Scandinavian Peninsula, the state of Russia spreads across East Europe and North Asia, bounded by the Arctic Ocean in the North, the Pacific Ocean in the East and the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea in the West. It has a total area of 17,075,200 square kms and has a population of about 150 million.
As in over seventy countries and regions around the world, Falun Gong has spread widely in Russia with its “Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance” principles and great effectiveness in improving the health of both mind and body. Since the establishment of the first practice site in St. Petersburg in 1999, there are now teaching sites and practice sites in over twenty cities and regions. From St. Petersburg near the Atlantic Ocean to Sakhalin Island at the Pacific Ocean, and from Archangelsk close to the North Pole to Stavropolsky in the South boundary, there are Falun Gong practitioners everywhere. Falun Gong practitioners can be seen practising the exercises, promoting the teachings and exposing the persecution of Falun Gong in the streets, art exhibitions and health Expos.
Watching the Nine Day Lecture Video
Regarding the spread of Falun Gong in Russia, practitioners will never forget the warm and kind help from practitioners in Mainland China. The first practice site was established by a veteran practitioner from China’s Qinghua University in St. Petersburg in August 1996. In November 1997, a group of seventeen practitioners, consisting of University Professors, experts and scholars of Russian translations and veteran practitioners from Beijing, came to Russia and brought with them the video tapes of Mr. Li Hongzhi, founder of Falun Gong, introducing the practice in a series of nine lectures. They used their own money to take the week long train journey from Manzhouli to St. Petersburg. They organised the first screening of the nine-day lecture videos. Attending the class were local residents of St. Petersburg and people on business-trips, visitors and tourists. It seemed by chance that these people came to this city and saw a small notice at the entrances to the Metro or in an other building and joined this class. They then started their cultivation journey as practitioners of Falun Gong. These veteran practitioners then brought Falun Gong to other places. From then on, Falun Gong practice sites were established in many other cities.
|Teaching the exercises at the first nine-day lecture screening in St. Petersburg||Western practitioners in St. Petersburg|
St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city is very beautiful. There are over 1000 well-preserved ancient tourist sites. St. Petersburg was once the capital of Russia and is thus full of culture and history. This city is known as the “Northern Venice” with lots of canals and bridges. A group of Falun Gong practitioners live here. Among them are teachers, professionals and retired people. There are families of three generations cultivating Falun Gong together.
|Russian practitioners promote Falun Gong in St. Petersburg city centre|
Since the Chinese Communist regime started its brutal and illegal persecution of Falun Gong on July 20th 1999, in order to let people learn the truth about Falun Gong, many practitioners in St. Petersburg always carry Falun Gong leaflets with them and give them to people in the Metro, buses and in offices.
Every Saturday practitioners' day to promote Falun Gong at the entrance to the Metro. They have almost visited every Metro station (the city has 59 Metro stations), with a few stations having been visited many times over. Especially for a few retired veteran practitioners, although they have very limited income, they often use their own money to travel to the east and surrounding countries to let more people know about Falun Gong and the ongoing brutal persecution of innocent people in China.
Practitioners also keep up their protest at the Chinese Consulate, appealing for a stop to the persecuting of Falun Gong in China. Everyday people visiting the Consulate can see their banners. As long as the persecution continues, the protest will not stop.
|Practitioners in St. Petersburg appeal at the Chinese Consulate for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China|
There is a special group at St. Petersburg train station who are there to welcome Chinese tourists. As a renowned tourist site, St. Petersburg receives many Chinese tourists everyday. In order to let these precious Chinese people learn the truth about Falun Gong in this free country, over ten practitioners in the city have voluntarily formed a group and they go to the train station in turn to give out truth-clarifying materials. For three years now, they have been there everyday, be it freezing winter or hot summer, windy or wet. Just this summer they gave out over 20,000 leaflets, which are paid for using money saved by practitioners living simply. After the publication of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party by the Epoch Times newspaper, in order to let the Chinese people learn the evil nature of the Chinese Communist Party and understand the reason behind the regime’s persecution of Falun Gong and its long history of persecuting Chinese people, practitioners started to distributing the Nine Commentaries. The busy train stations are always filled with people. To better clarify the truth to the Chinese people, practitioners all learned to say a few sentences in Chinese. The response from the Chinese people has become better and better. Many visiting senior Chinese officials not only take the Nine Commentaries themselves, they also encourage other members to take it. Sometimes the tour leaders do not allow people to accept the material, but people ask for the materials once the tour leader is preoccupied.
The North: Home of a prophecy
The state of Archangelsk lies in the north of Russia’s European section. It covers a vast area with little population and is normally very cold. This cold but fertile land had some very unusual experiences. During the Communist Party’s control between 1923 and the 1950s, this was the place where political dissidents were persecuted in the concentration camps and forced labour camps. People here suffered greatly.
During this period of hardship, a prophesy was widely spread in the poor villages: it said that in the near future, a man with a wheel would come to save people. This was foretold by a wise man. Although people could not understand it, they remember it in their hearts.
When Falun Gong was brought here, an elderly gentleman opened the first page of Zhuan Falun, the main teaching of Falun Gong, and said suddenly after seeing the Falun emblem and the picture of the Falun Gong’s founder Mr. Li: “Is it the man with the wheel?” He then told his descendants, “This is a wonderful book. You must study it with diligence and cultivate well.”
|Sharing experiences and understandings|
The teaching site and practice site have been established for more than two and a half years now. Practitioners here are very diligent. The tough environment has tempered their simple and pure character. They treasured Falun Gong greatly once they obtained it. They say often, “We will do whatever teacher Li teaches us to do.” They study Falun Gong diligently and go everywhere to promote Falun Gong. More and more people have started to cultivate in Falun Gong. This year the region held its first Falun Gong experience-sharing conference. Various organisations in the State and city are very supportive of their activities.
The East: The Story of Eight Young Men
People on Sakhalin Island in Eastern Russia learned Falun Gong through eight young men. In the beginning of 1998, these eight young men went to China for sightseeing. In a Park in Beijing, they saw a group of people practising the exercises. They were deeply attracted by its gentle movements and solemn energy field and started to follow the movements. They quickly grasped the five sets of exercises with the patient guidance of Chinese practitioners. Practitioners also helped them to find a copy of the introductory book China Falun Gong in Russian. Upon returning home, they established a practice site. This is the Russia’s most eastern practice site.
Due to the remoteness of the place, it is very difficult to travel around, and thus hard to share their cultivation experience with the others. It took them almost half a month to attend the Falun Gong experience-sharing conference in Moscow (by train, boat and train). Despite the tough environment, they have kept up their cultivation and efforts to expose the persecution.
The South: Practitioners in Pyatigorsk
Pyatigorsk lies in the region Stavropolsky in South Russia. In 1997, two practitioners from St. Petersburg returned home for the New Year and brought Falun Gong to their native city. Since then there are more and more people with predestined relations joining the cultivation practice.
Pyatigorsk is named after the five mountains. It is renowned for its Spring Spas. The natural scenery is very beautiful with gentle weather conditions. Therefore it attracts many tourists from abroad. Practitioners used this unique condition and have persisted in their efforts to tell people the truth of Falun Gong. Many tourists learned the beauty of Falun Gong and the truth of the Chinese Communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong.
The story of practitioners in Pyatigorsk telling the truth to the Chinese people is very touching. There is a very large retail market in this city. A few thousand Chinese business people do business here. Since July 20th 1999, practitioners have never stopped telling the truth about Falun Gong to these Chinese people who are heavily poisoned by the Chinese Communist regime’s lies and slanders. It was quite hard at the beginning. Russian practitioners who went to tell the truth were often surrounded and attacked by the Chinese. At one incident Russian Police with rifles who were not aware of the facts even pushed them away. Faced with a tough environment, practitioners didn’t concede. They have actively exposed the persecution to the management of the market, government organisations and Chinese business people. With practitioners’ persistent efforts, people learned the truth about Falun Gong. The management of the market and police no longer interfere with practitioners’ activities. Many Chinese business people learned the truth. Now many Chinese people come to practitioners asking for Falun Gong material.
The Russian People Support Falun Gong
Falun Gong has been spreading in Russia for nine years now. Due to the great efforts of practitioners in all regions talking to various government organisations and people, the Russian people recognise more and more the principles of “Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance” and Falun Gong’s great benefits to the health of mind and body. They also learned more about the Chinese Communist regime’s brutal persecution of Falun Gong.
During an activity in Moscow, an elderly lady stayed in front of the exhibition boards for a long while. She then came to the table to sign the petition calling for the end to the persecution. She told practitioners: “It’s so similar”. One could see that in her heart, she had an unforgettable memory. Russian people suffered greatly under the dictatorship of the world’s first Communist regime. The Russian Communist party murdered over twenty million people during its over seventy years in power. Many people were persecuted for no reason, in the labour camps, were abused in the mental hospitals and were sent to remote places. On December 26th 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved. The federation of Russia was formed. Without the control of Russia’s evil Communist Party, Russia’s economy has been developed steadily over the past ten years. Russia also made great progress in protecting citizen’s democratic rights and freedom of belief. The Russian people fell deeply disgusted by the terrible violence still existing today and many of them came to sign our petition calling for an end to the persecution. Local government officials and police also often say to practitioners during Falun Gong activities: “This is Russia, not China. We support you.”
|Signing their signature to show their support against the persecution|
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union has been disposed of for fifteen years now. Today over eight million Chinese people in China have withdrawn from the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliations. More and more people have see through the evil nature of the Chinese Communist Party and have learned more and more about the truth of Falun Gong. The Chinese Communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong will not last long!
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