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Athens, Greece: Introducing Dafa and Clarifying the Truth during the Olympic Games (Photos)

August 15, 2004 |   By a practitioner in Europe

(Clearwisdom.net) On August 11, Falun Gong practitioners from over 15 countries held a parade through the center of Athens to welcome the Chinese Olympic athletes and to show the beauty of Falun Dafa to the world. Thanks to the peaceful nature of Falun Gong practitioner's activities the world over, they were the only group that was granted permission by the Greek police during the period of the Olympic Games in Athens, despite tremendous pressure from the Chinese Embassy who demanded that all practitioners should be arrested. The Greek police were impressed with the peaceful parade and one policewoman said that her country should learn the peace and serenity of Falun Dafa.

Starting from Emporiki Bank, the parade was lead by dancers performing the lotus dance and a group of drummers, who slowly progressed through the busy streets of Athens. People were delighted by the beautiful scene and clapped their hands. The police officers who were responsible for security had never experienced such a peaceful parade before. Being prepared for a possible unruly protest, they were very nervous, but very soon they relaxed and praised the practitioners' conduct.

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Thousands of Greek citizens were so touched by the parade that they couldn't wait to receive the materials handed out by the practitioners, and even asked for the same flyers in different languages. One woman sighed and said that she wished all human beings could be as peaceful as this group of Falun Gong practitioners.

About 20 media representatives showed up to interview practitioners. They were all very interested to learn about the brutal persecution against Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese government, and carefully recorded the beauty of the whole event.

Practitioners conducted an exercise demonstration after the parade finished at the square in front of the parliament building.

Every morning the practitioners in Athens practiced together and sent forth righteous thoughts. In the afternoon, they conducted group study of Dafa teachings and shared experiences together. At other times during the day, they went to various locations separately to distribute truth-clarification literature. One elderly gentleman said, after accepting a flyer, "I know Falun Gong. I saw your parade yesterday. You are good people. I like you."

A practitioner met a Chinese person when he bought bread in a shop. The Chinese person talked with the practitioner in a friendly manner. He said that he had read the truth-clarification literature and watched the informational VCD. He was interested in the practice and asked for the location of a practice site.

Practitioners also went to a well-known scenic site to introduce Dafa to tourists. From there, the whole of Athens can be viewed. The practitioners hung a banner with the words, "Falun Dafa is Great" on a huge rock and sent forth righteous thoughts at scheduled times. Many tourists and reporters took photos. A reporter from Britain talked with the practitioners and asked for more information about the concert to be held next week.