Falun Dafa Around the World: St. Petersburg (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) St. Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia, is located at the Neva River Delta east of the Baltic Sea. It is Russia's window to Europe. The city is made up of over 40 islands and there are over 700 bridges connecting the islands. Its charming scenes have won the city the title "Venice of the North." It was Russia's capital from 1712 to 1918, hence it is also known as the Northern Capital.
Falun Dafa was first introduced to the Russian people in St. Petersburg. The first practice site was set up in St. Petersburg in 1996. Since then, over 20 cities have established their own practice sites. From St. Petersburg in the west to Sakhalin in the east, from Arkhangelsk near the Arctic to Stavropolsky in the south, there are people practicing Falun Gong. Falun Gong practitioners are often seen on the streets, at art exhibitions and at health expos, doing the exercises and clarifying the facts about the persecution in China.
Helping More People Improve Their Health Physically and Mentally
Many practitioners gained physical fitness and conducted themselves based on higher morality after they started the practice. They want to introduce the practice to more people. Through word of mouth, Falun Gong was soon practiced by people in over 100 countries.
On August 18 and 25, 2007, practitioners in St. Petersburg held activities in two parks and taught people how to do the Falun Dafa exercises.
On May 15, 2010, practitioners gathered at a park in central St. Petersburg to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the founding of Falun Dafa and the 11th annual World Falun Dafa Day. Practitioners played waist drums, displayed posters and passed on the good news of Falun Dafa to passersby.
Fa Conferences in Europe and Russia
As a traffic hub between Europe and Asia, St. Petersburg often hosts Falun Dafa experience sharing conferences. At the European Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference held on September 30, 2006, practitioners from Russia, the Ukraine, Slovakia, Latvia, Poland, Israel, Germany, England, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Taiwan gathered to share their understandings in their practice.
The Russia Fa Conference was held on October 17 and 18, 2008, in a suburb of St. Petersburg. Practitioners came from Russia, the Ukraine and other countries to attend the conference.
Exposing the Chinese Regime's Crime of Harvesting Organs from Living Falun Gong Practitioners
When the persecution began on July 20, 1999, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mobilized the entire country in an attempt to eradicate the practice of Falun Gong. Methods used since then have included illegal imprisonment, brainwashing, beatings, shocking with electric batons, and injection of unknown nerve-damaging drugs. At least 3,400 practitioners have died as a result of torture and tens of thousands have been imprisoned. Numerous practitioners have been sent to "brainwashing centers," or had to leave their homes and become destitute to avoid further persecution.
On April 15, 2006, practitioners in St. Petersburg held two rallies in the streets to expose the CCP's brutality in persecuting practitioners and how the guards and doctors in labor camps and prisons removed organs from practitioners while they were still alive, destroying the corpses to cover up their crimes.
On June 3, 2006, practitioners held an anti-torture exhibition in central St. Petersburg. The activity exposed how the CCP removed practitioners' organs while they were still alive and burned the bodies to destroy evidence of their crimes.
Regardless of the Weather, Year after Year
The brutal persecution has lasted 11 years and is still ongoing. On July 20, 2010, the practitioners held an activity in St. Petersburg to expose the CCP's violation of human rights and call for people's support to help stop the persecution. Many people stopped to inquire about and condemn the persecution. Many asked where they could buy books of the teachings.
People Petition to Call for the Stop of the Persecution
May 27, 2006 was the city of St. Petersburg's 303rd birthday. With the city's permission, practitioners participated in the celebration held in the city center. Practitioners introduced the practice and how it has been embraced by people around the world. They also demonstrated the five exercises. Many people read the posters exposing the brutality of the persecution and showed their sympathy and support for the practitioners in China.
Art Exhibition that Awakens Conscience
The Truth-Compassion-Forbearance International Art Exhibition has been touring the world since 2003. The paintings have been shown in over 40 countries and 200 cities around the world. St. Petersburg was the first city to host the exhibition in Russia in 2006. In the past four years, it has toured many cities in Russia and won recognition from people of all walks of life. The Russian people got to learn more about Falun Dafa and the persecution from the artworks.
On April 28, 2006, the Art Exhibition was first shown to the Russian people in the exhibition hall of a local artist association near Neva River in St. Petersburg. The chair of the art association Polozov cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony and said, "As a painter, it is impossible for me not to care about the persecution. The work in this painting exhibition awakens people's sympathy and conscience and is bound to evoke reactions from people's souls."