Falun Dafa in Europe: Falun Gong Takes Root and Flowers in Slovakia

The republic of Slovakia is a young country. The former Czechoslovakian Republic broke away from the communist system. Czechoslovakia said good-bye in a friendly way to the Slovakian people and became two independent countries. Slovakia called itself "the Slovensko" republic. The new-born "Slovensko" is so unknown and the people were so unfamiliar with it. Outside Europe, people hardly knew it. Some do not know where it is; some can not distinguish the names for the two countries, "Slovensko" and "Slovenia." Eight years ago, I came to Slovakia for the first time. While buying a ticket, I could not even tell the ticket collector its capital fluently, or my destination, Bratislava. However, in this country, there is a group of practitioners of Falun Gong.

The people of Slovakia are happy to lead a simple, virtuous life and having nothing to compete for with others; they have a deep love for nature and value life. They advocate peace and disdain violence. This is a people with a strong religious consciousness. They believe in God and revere the spiritual life. Regardless of the level of education, position and identity, most people in Slovakia are more highly morally cultivated, well-mannered, modest, kindhearted and simple. They pay attention to decorum and behave well. They have less of the communist custom left. Slovakia's society is stable and peaceful. There are rarely natural and man-made calamities nor turmoil and violence.

It should be easy for such people to accept Falun Gong, which teaches people about "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance." However, the spread of Falun Gong in Slovakia is quite a difficult process.

In contrast with Western Europe and North America, Falun Gong arrived later here, after July of 1999 when rumours about Falun Gong spread by the Chinese Communist Party passed into the country. The Slovakian people's initial understanding of Falun Gong is connected to those terms of burning oneself to death and other vicious propaganda which the CCP has spread. Thus they had serious doubts about Falun Gong. The Chinese here generally believed the fabricated propaganda of the CCP and repelled and resisted Falun Gong and treated practitioners badly. For several years, in spring and autumn, under the burning sun and in the snow and the cold wind, only two or three practised Falun Gong consistently. Although they were few, they still did what Falun Gong practitioners should do: practising the exercises, studying the principles of Falun Gong; explaining the truth to people and the media; engaging in protests and petitions at the Chinese Embassy and the United Nations; and participating in European Falun Gong conferences.

The power of Falun Gong can not be withstood. After a few years' efforts, the Slovakian people have understood Falun Gong gradually. Falun Gong practitioners in Slovakia have passed the most difficult period. In 2001 they set up a websites. In 2003 the Falun Gong Association was established with the approval of the government. In 2004 the Slovakian edition of the beginner's book Falun Gong was translated and published. In 2005 the Slovakian edition of the main text Zhuan Falun was translated and published. The number of people who practised Falun Gong increased. In cities other than the capital, Bratislava, there were also practitioners and practice sites. More and more people in Slovakia wished to learn about Falun Gong and about the persecution that is taking place in China.

The view of the Chinese toward Falun Gong is changing gradually as well. In the past few years they have seen for themselves that Falun Gong practitioners are honest, kindhearted, and healthy - completely different from the CCP's lies. Some began to accept the leaflets about Falun Gong distributed by practitioners. Some liked to talk to the practitioners. Some employers hired practitioners to work for them. Some parents asked practitioners to teach their children Chinese. Some cared about the safety of the practitioners and reported all sorts of mean conduct by personnel of the Chinese Embassy against practitioners. Some people who used to practise other exercises transferred to Falun Gong and formally joined the ranks of cultivators. Some began reading Zhuan Falun and said that they would soon participate in group exercises.

Falun Gong practitioners in Slovakia have established good relationships with the people, police, the media and government of this country. At present, Falun Gong practitioners in Slovakia have a very good practice environment. Whenever Falun Gong practitioners take to the streets to introduce the practice and tell people about the persecution, many people sign their names to show support, asked for materials and provide refreshments and beverages. Sometimes the police would talk to practitioners to learn about the truth after they finished their duty. Practitioners toured cities in the whole country regularly every year to spread Falun Gong. Local media would report. Some reporters even learned about the exercises on the spot. Some mayors showed up to greet practitioners and signed their names to show support. Some mayors received practitioners in City Hall. Some mayors wrote letters to express support afterwards. Some congressmen wrote articles, made speeches to condemn the persecution of Falun Gong by the CCP.

Falun Gong practitioners in Slovakia often go to other countries to show support, in addition to spreading Falun Gong in Slovakia. They have been to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Western Europe, North America, and along the Baltic Sea. Certainly, Falun Gong practitioners in Slovakia have received a lot of help from practitioners in other countries. Practitioners in the Czech Republic, Austria, Great Britain and Germany have come to Slovakia to spread Falun Gong many times so that Falun Gong practitioners in Slovakia could pass the most difficult period.

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