(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners from several European countries held a march and a rally in Cologne, Germany, on Sunday, telling the local public and tourists about this ancient Chinese self-improvement practice and exposing the persecution of it in China.

Falun Gong's Tian Guo Marching Band performs in front of the Cologne Cathedral before the march.

The procession begins at the Cologne Cathedral.

The grand march

Demonstrating the exercises in front of the cathedral.

Commemorating those who were tortured to death during the persecution.

Falun Gong practitioners have held events regularly in front of this famous tourist destination, the Cologne Cathedral, over the last decade. Many tourists, especially those from China, have talked to them and changed their opinion of Falun Gong.

A few practitioners spoke at the rally after the march.

Liu Wei, a member of the Tian Guo Marching Band, talked about being tortured in China.

Before Liu Wei moved to Germany some ten years ago, she was incarcerated in the women’s labor camp in Beijing for 16 months. She was forced to do hard labor for 16 hours a day and was badly beaten.

Edgar Schmitz was saddened by practitioners' experiences.

Edgar Schmitz, a German government official, listened to the speeches. He was deeply concerned about the human rights violations taking place in China.

“We live in a free country, where our rights are protected. As a guy growing up in Germany, the Communist Party's persecution is really shocking,” he said.

“It is really meaningful that more and more Chinese have the courage to speak out. This event drew Chinese people's attention. The persecution is related to everybody,” he added. “I feel that I need to do something too. I should tell my 20-year-old children about this.”

Barbara Rundna-Kaminska cried for practitioners.

Barbara Rundna-Kaminska, a German language teacher, had never heard about the persecution. She was shocked by the speeches. With tears in her eyes, she and her husband signed the petition condemning the state-sanctioned organ harvesting, one of the worst forms of persecution in China.

Chinese tourists reading practitioners' banners.

Groups of Chinese tourists passed by the events. Many of them took pictures of things they cannot see in China. Several young Chinese students were interested in learning this cultivation practice, and took the Falun Gong booklets and brochures.