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Karma was in full swing today as I walked through campus here at the University of Florida and suddenly the young Asian woman who I noticed up on the hillside brushed by and handed me a note. She was gone by the time I glanced down at the paper. This was The Falun Gong.
Curiosity got the best of me so l looked at their website and learned that Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline for mind and body. The practice involves slow, gentle movements and meditation. It is easy to learn, enjoyable to practice, and free of charge. Its principles are based on Truth, compassion, and Tolerance. The practice began in China in 1992 and quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China and then beyond. Falun Gong is practiced by over 100 million people in 60 countries. The main works of Falun Gong are available in over 30 languages.
So why are these people persecuted?
According to their website, It must first be understood that the Communist Party is officially atheist, so anything of a spiritual nature is discouraged and often outlawed because it is not in keeping with Communist ideology. For those of us in nations with democratically elected governments, freedom of belief is considered to be one of the most basic universal rights, but in China, such fundamental human rights are rarely protected.
I think it is important that Librarians familiarize themselves with these people and their issues. To that end I share with you the website contained on the piece of paper:
http://www.faluninfo.net or www.minghui.org