Minghui (Chinese version of Clearwisdom) received New Year greetings addressed to Teacher from Falun Gong practitioners from over 1,500 different regions in China this year. They all seem like simple greetings. However, a closer look tells us that there is a lot more to it.

In 2003, Minghui published the following messages: "New Year Greetings to Teacher Li, from Dafa Practitioners Working in the China Foreign Affairs Department," and "Happy New Year to Teacher Li, from Dafa Practitioners Working in the China Political Affairs Department." Again in 2004, the following message was published: "New Year's Greetings and Best Wishes to Mr. Li Hongzhi, from Members of the Internal and External National Security Department."

This year, our readers were surprised and delighted to see the following messages published: "Best Regards for the New Year to Teacher Li, from all units of Beijing Second Battalion," "Happy New Year to Teacher Li, from all Dafa Practitioners in Chinese Politics and Law Departments," "On behalf of Dafa practitioners from Yishui County of Shandong Province and Pinggu County of Beijing, Dafa Practitioners from Beijing Veteran Army Corps Send Best Wishes for the New Year to Teacher Li."

Many readers discovered that among the greeting messages sent by practitioners in China, a large number had come from cities and provinces not so commonly known. From the west, we had Kuerle and Kashen, situated in the south of Xinjiang Province. From the east, there were Nanhui and Baoshan, municipalities located along the Shanghai coastal region. From the north, we had Tahe and Mohe in the district of Daxinganling, and from the south, Qujing and Honghe, districts from Hani and Yi Autonomous Tribal Regions in Yunnan Province. We also received messages from some minority groups living in the towns of Wuzhong, Qingtongxia, Zhongwei, and Guyuan, located in Ningxia Province and Qinghai Province. Greetings messages were also received from the settlements of Yakeshi, Hailaer, Yitulihe, Tulihe, Genhe, Deerbuer, Moerdaoga, Niuerhe, Alongshan, and others in Inner Mongolia.

New practitioners that started practicing after the persecution began on July 20, 1999 have also overcome the Internet blockade, and have been sending sincere messages to Teacher Li.

To be able to contact Minghui means that those regions can also read Minghui. Today, Falun Dafa information centers are not limited only to a few big cities, but have spread all over the country. The huge amount of money spent by the government on firewalls for blocking news flowing into the country via the Internet has been somewhat like building another Berlin Wall. The firewall may have temporarily prevented their lies from being exposed, but who has the power to stop the truth from reaching people?

The persecution of Falun Dafa has lasted for five and a half years. For a person, five and a half years may not seem too long, or too short. But to practitioners, these five and a half years were a trial of life and death. It was a battle of righteousness versus evil, and also an experience unlike any other in history. To the awakened public, wherever they are from, the past five and a half years has been a period of struggling to pull oneself away from the lies, and a period for one to rethink what the real situation is. It was a period of fear and anxiety to the instigator of the persecution and his followers who at the beginning cried out, "We will abolish Falun Gong in three months!"

Throughout human history, a path of truth was always accompanied by hardship. When Confucius was trapped in between the states of Chen and Cai, and suffering from hunger, all of his disciples left him except for Yan Hui, who had great confidence in his teacher. Even disciples Zi Lu, renowned for his gallantry, and Zi Gong, known for his eloquence, had doubts about his teachings.

Today, practitioners are building up more strength everyday through the trials and tribulations. The hardships and sufferings have also helped spread the truth to people all over the world. When all is said and done, no one can turn people away from their yearning for Truth, Compassion and Forbearance.