(Minghui.org) The award-winning documentary Free China: The Courage to Believe was screened on May 13, World Falun Dafa Day, at the Connecticut State Legislative Building.

“Shocking! Very shocking!” said Joseph Crisco, Senator of the State of Connecticut and Insurance and Real Estate Committee Chair, after the screening. A panel discussion also included guest speaker Jennifer Zeng, who is featured in the film. The film tells the story of two practitioners of Falun Gong who were imprisoned and tortured by the Chinese regime.

Screening and panel discussion of "Free China"

Crisco said that he had not been aware of the severity of the persecution, especially the organ harvesting from live Falun Gong practitioners, “I need to find out more information and then see what we can do.”

“Very enlightening," State Representative Mike DeMicco said, "[The persecution is] disturbing, but seeing so many people persistent in practicing their faith is very encouraging. Freedom will prevail."

During a conversation with Tan Xiaorong, a Visiting Scholar at Yale University who was tortured in a Chinese prison for one year and nine months for practicing Falun Gong, DeMicco said that he thought practicing Falun Gong's principles of Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance gave practitioners the courage to stand up and expose the persecution. "Everyone should practice Falun Gong's truth, compassion and forbearance," he said.

"What happened in China is very relevant to us. Now we know that the products for sale on our market might be made by the persecuted Falun Gong practitioners in prisons or labor camps," he said. "We need to discuss what to do in Connecticut for Falun Gong.”

“My life is changed today,” Aurora D'Angona said as she hugged Jennifer Zeng after watching the film. She is a representative for the Connecticut Democratic Party Constituents' Service and an assistant for several state representatives. “Seeing people need to pay so much for their own faith,” she was deeply touched, she said.

Not having heard about Falun Gong before the film, D'Angona said that she would tell everyone, including the state lawmakers she worked for, about the persecution in China. “Increasing awareness is what I can do to help,” she said.

Connecticut State Legislative Committee Administrator Pam Booth was also surprised to find Falun Gong apolitical. She had heard about Falun Gong when the persecution started in 1999. “At that time and even now, the media portrayed Falun Gong as a political group. I learned today that it is not true,” she said.

Ms. Booth used to work in the laboratory of the organ transplant center at Hartford

Hospital in Connecticut. She was shocked and outraged by what was presented in the film and during the discussion about organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. "Totally unacceptable,” she said, “That is barbaric. That is Nazi."

Ryan Henowitz, a lobbyist for "Working Families," said that he felt Americans need to know about the persecution of Falun Gong. “What happens in China is related to all of us. It is important to know about the persecution. We do not just fight for rights for ourselves, but also for other people. When we buy made-in-China products, we should know what this means for those persecuted."

State Representative James Maroney arranged the film screening. He said the film made him feel “sad and wonderful," referring to the persecution on the one hand and Falun Gong practitioners' spirits on the other. He said that he would discuss with his colleagues about proposing a bill to help stop the organ harvesting in China.