(Clearwisdom.net) On April 25, 1999, an astounding event took place in Beijing. The April 25 event has had profound historic significance. It impressed the international community and changed the lives of an untold number of people.

Falun Gong Practitioner Mr. Wang Bin, a PhD at the Engineering Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, participated in the April 25 appeal in person 12 years ago, and he recouonted what he witnessed in his memoirs. “We arrived in front of the State Appeals Bureau, which is located on Fuyou Street, on the morning of April 25, 1999. Many practitioners were there already. We heard that some got there the night before. There was no shouting or banners in the long line. … … We had lunch at noon. After lunch, some practitioners picked up trash. They even picked up the cigarette butts the police officers left on the ground. Many people who walked past stopped and exclaimed, 'There's hope in China!' Some local residents said, 'We have been living all our lives here. We've seen all kinds of people coming here, crying, shouting or fighting. We've never seen anybody like you. It's a great thing to witness.' Some people even asked for Zhuan Falun. The police officers were relaxed. Some began chatting with the practitioners, saying that we were truly good people. Some told us that their family members were practicing it, too.”

The peacefulness and orderliness of the Falun Gong practitioners left a deep impression on local residents and media throughout the world.

Ms. Zhu, who lives in the Netherlands, remembered a report that was published in the Netherlands at that time: "A reporter from the Netherlands went to interview Falun Gong practitioners near Zhongnanhai that day. Afterwards, he called this crowd 'a group with high moral values' and the book Zhuan Falun a 'blue sutra.' He commented that Falun Gong practitioners had the discipline of gods and left nothing on the ground after they left."

Ms. Wu Yanxia now lives in Toronto. She recalled that one of her friends, Mr. Zhao Guang, drove his wife to Beijing to appeal. He was amazed at what he saw. “There were so many people there, but everybody was standing quietly, no shouting, no banners. He witnessed the peacefulness, rationality, and respectfulness of Falun Gong practitioners. Afterwards, he wanted to learn more about Falun Gong and later became a practitioner himself.”

During a Clearwisdom interview in April 2010, Ms. Ying Chun said, “I came to the U.S. 12 years ago, and I suffered from poor health after my arrival. I had migraine headaches, chronic stomachaches, and constipation. I had suffered from insomnia for ten years. My life was a living hell.

“I was doing grocery shopping one day in late April 1999. I read a Chinese newspaper with the headline “Falun Gong Surrounds Zhongnanhai.” The newspaper also published a large photo of Master Li Hongzhi. The headline story covered the whole front page. I felt a shock. The story was negative, but I don't remember the details. Still, I felt a strong desire to learn about Falun Gong.

“I learned a form of qigong in China, but eventually I had some questions that the teacher could not answer. So, I always wanted to find a master who knew the answers. Initially I thought that perhaps I could go to Taiwan and find a teacher there. But it turned out my real Master was in the U.S. After I watched the nine-day lecture recordings and began to do the Falun Gong exercises for two months, I felt a major boost to my health. Soon, all of my illnesses disappeared. It was a truly amazing feeling. I felt for the first time the joy of perfect health.”

Mr. Hong learned about Falun Gong because of the appeal. He said, “I was working in Singapore, and heard about the appeal from my colleagues at lunch. Because 800f Singapore residents are Chinese, happenings in China are often reported immediately in Singapore by quoting government-run media outlets in China. My first reaction was that I didn’t believe the government-controlled newspaper. This was because I knew how the media misled people during the 1989 Tiananmen massacre. So I asked a colleague who practices Falun Gong about it. This colleague gave me a thorough explanation. I thought Falun Gong was great and decided to try it. That was when I started practicing Falun Gong.

“During the first three days, my brain was so clear that I felt great. I only slept for about three hours at night. However, I wasn't sleepy during the day. I suffered from insomnia before and my brain was always muddled. The feeling of a clear head was amazing.”

Many people learned about Falun Gong from the news coverage. The peacefulness and perseverance the practitioners exhibited was simply unparalleled. Many people wanted to learn Falun Gong because of that. In Taiwan, there was a sudden increase in new practitioners at all practice sites. The nine-day video lectures and exercise instruction classes were always full, with more than 70 people in each class. They had to ask for urgent help from veteran practitioners.

The coordinator at Huangpu Village practice site said that they sometimes had to use two rooms and two TVs to meet the needs. Coordinator Mr. Lin at Tongshan Street practice site said that they had more than 100 people at three different nine-day sessions. There were so many people that they had difficulties giving instructions.

There was been a big increase in new practitioners in Taiwan after the April 25 Appeal. Falun Gong is thriving in Taiwan. The number of practice sites increased from a couple dozen to more than one thousand today. There are more than 500,000 practitioners from all walks of life. They include university professors, doctors, lawyers, engineers, civil servants, policemen, soldiers, farmers, business people, students, and homemakers. Taiwan has more Falun Gong practitioners than almost anywhere else other than mainland China. Practitioners' health and morality are greatly improved. Falun Gong is very well received in the Taiwan government and in all levels of society.

Three months after the April 25 Appeal, the CCP launched the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. In these 12 years, practitioners have been peacefully telling people the facts about Falun Gong. Their efforts to counter the persecution have won attention and support worldwide. Falun Gong has quickly spread to more than 100 countries around the world.