Stories of My Neighbors: Blessed for Standing Up Against the Persecution of Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners in China have been suppressed for their belief for 16 years. Although the general public was initially influenced by the Chinese Communist Party's vicious propaganda, a growing number of people discovered the real situation and became supportive of Falun Gong.
Below are several stories shared by a practitioner in Shandong Province in Eastern China in which those who have taken an upright stance against the persecution of Falun Gong have been rewarded with good fortune.
Those Who Know Me, Know about Falun Gong
I worked for a company more than 30 years before retirement and I live very close to my company. Many of neighbors are former coworker of mine. Following the teachings of Falun Gong, I treated them with sincerity and compassion. Most of them became clear about what Falun Gong is and how it has been unjustly targeted for persecution.
During the persecution of Falun Gong for over a decade, many neighbors helped me in various ways: some spoke out against the authorities who mistreated me, some provided support in daily life, and some looked out for my safety to help me avoid arrest.
Speaking Out Against My Arrest in Public
One of my neighbors, a retired party secretary from my workplace, used to live in the same building as I did. As an ordinary employee, I got along well with most staff members, but did not interact much with officials. Nonetheless he stood up to support me during my arrest several years ago.
It was triggered by the death of one of my fellow practitioners, who died as a result of torture in detention. Several practitioners and I went to local government officials, calling for follow-up investigations and for the personnel involved to be held responsible. Subsequently, police officers came to my home and arrested me.
My neighbor, who had already retired by that time, heard about this and was very upset. In front of a big crowd, both from my workplace and the neighborhood, he said with strong conviction, “I haven't practiced Falun Gong myself, so I cannot comment on that. But I do know that she [me] should not be arrested. She did not violate any law or do anything bad. How could she be arrested simply for doing exercises to improve her health?”
“We all know she [me] is a good person. She works hard with a high ethical standard.” He continued, “We have seen many real crimes these days. Why do the police ignore them and want to harm innocent people like her?!”
When someone told me about this, I was deeply moved. When I met him later, as soon as I greeted him, he told me he felt very sorry about my arrest. He said, “I could not stop thinking about it and could not sleep well.” He reminded me to pay attention to my safety, saying,“I have experienced many things in my life. I know the Party is vicious and it could do anything [to harm people]. Please take care and protect yourself.”
Tears came to my eyes, as he spoke. I thanked him and told him the real story of Falun Gong, from the health benefits and improvement of heart and mind, to the brutal persecution. He listened attentively and nodded.
He later moved, and I did not see him often. Once, I ran into his son on the street, and I asked about his father. “Oh, he is much healthier now. He used to have serious heart disease and high blood pressure. Both of them are much better now,” said his son.
I was happy for him, both for taking such an righteous stance and for his improved health, which I believe to be connected.
Protecting My Falun Gong Books
Another neighbor from my building is very kind, and she and I are good friends. After Falun Gong was banned in China, she saw the slanderous propaganda on TV and developed some misconceptions. I chatted with her a few times telling to her the facts about Falun Gong and why the Party suppressed innocent practitioners. She understood and no longer urged me to give up the practice.
Once when I was arrested, the police confiscated some Falun Gong books and I felt terrible about it. When I mentioned this to my neighbor, she offered to keep my remaining books in a safe place in her home for me, in case of future police raids.
This neighbor helped me this way for several years, until I decided to store them in my own home again.
She used to live in poverty, but her life has changed in the last few years. Her daughter got married to a business owner and lived a comfortable life. Her son also started a business and started a family. She is close with her children and they support her financially.
Seeing her in good health and with few worries, many said she was lucky. Once when we chatted about how helping mistreated people will be rewarded by heaven, according to traditional Chinese culture, I said to her, “It seems to me that you have been blessed for protecting my [Falun Gong] books.” She nodded and smiled.
A Timely Messenger Helps Me Avoid Arrest
"Auntie," in her 70s, lives close by. Because she often gossiped about other residents, many people disliked her and did not talk with her. However, I treated her well and helped her whenever she needed me to. Hearing she was sick, I visited her. We talked about Falun Gong and the persecution.
Auntie told me she liked to read the informational materials other practitioners distributed about Falun Gong. When she heard other people making negative comments about Falun Gong, she often spoke up, saying, “I know some Falun Gong practitioners and they are good people.”
One day after I retired, someone pounded on my door. It was Auntie. Panicked, she said to me, “Outside the building, I overheard several police officers discussing plans to arrest you. They said some letters had been sent to human rights organizations in the United Nations and they suspect that you were involved.” She said the police also planned to get my employer to trap me. “Please be careful and do not go outside. If you need to buy something, run some errands, or contact someone, I can help you.”
At that moment, instead of feeling worried for my safety, I felt really touched by her kindness.
My employer called me a couple days later, asking me to come pick up some mail. Knowing it was a trap, I told them I couldn't go because I was on my way to the supermarket. A coworker later told me that several police officers were at work that day, and they even went to that supermarket to try to arrest me.
Police officers made more attempts to trap me, but they all failed. In the end, they gave up.
Several days later, I ran into Auntie, and she said excitedly, “I had leg pain for a long time and both legs were swelling. But since I passed on the message to you that day, the leg pain disappeared and the swelling also went away. I am so happy!”
These are some stories of my neighbors and there are many more like them. I admire their courage to support the oppressed in such a harsh environment, and believe they all deserve to have good future.