Bulgaria: Falun Dafa Events at Black Sea and Mountain Resorts
(Minghui.org) Many Bulgarian citizens and tourists at the Black Sea resorts and well-known mountain areas learned about the persecution of the Falun Dafa spiritual practice (also known as Falun Gong) in China this past August.
Many also signed a petition demanding that former Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin be brought to justice. Jiang Zemin launched the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999. Millions of practitioners and their families were (and still are) subjected to economic, mental, and physical harassment, as well as mass arrests, torture, and even forced organ harvesting.
Seven Rila Lakes
Tourists visiting the Seven Rila Lakes, one of the most visited natural wonders in Bulgaria, had the opportunity to learn about Falun Gong on August 4. Practitioners from the capital city of Sofia set up an information stand next to the lower station of the mountain lift and distributed flyers about the ancient cultivation practice.
Hundreds of Bulgarian and foreign nature lovers not only enjoyed the breathtaking views of Rila Mountain but also learned about the 19 years of ongoing persecution in China. They showed their support by signing the petition to help bring Jiang Zemin to justice.
Ahtopol and Tzarevo
Residents and guests of the Black Sea resorts of Ahtopol and Tzarevo had the opportunity to learn the facts about the persecution of Falun Gong on August 11-12. They also had a chance to express their disapproval of the persecution by signing the petition. Signatures were collected in both places, along the cities’ pedestrian walkways during busy, early evening hours.
The residents of Tzarevo had a chance to sign the petition for the very first time. Many had never heard about Falun Gong and were initially hesitant. But after reviewing the information and talking with practitioners, they offered their support.
In Ahtopol, where signatures were being collected for the second time, it was just the opposite, as the passersby were interested as soon as they saw the practitioners set up. Many stopped by to learn about the petition and asked about the persecution and the practice. A number of tourists already knew about Falun Gong, and others inquired about practice sites in their home cities. A total of 231 signatures were collected in both cities.
The petition drive was held in the city of Bourgas on August 16, and 85 signatures were collected. Many residents were already aware of Falun Gong and the practice site at the Sea Garden. A number of tourists learned about Falun Gong and the persecution, and signed the petition to stop it. A well-known Bourgas blogger also showed her support and promptly sent out information about the event to social media. In response, dozens of young people came to support the petition.
Peshtera and Velingrad
A petition drive was organized in the city of Peshtera on August 18. This little town is famous for its ancient fortress “Peristera” and the abundance of caves. The local residents of Peshtera were aware of Falun Gong and the practice site at the city park. Many had already signed the petition once before. Many residents of Roma ethnicity who worked abroad said that they had seen the petition in Berlin and Bordeaux.
Signatures were collected in the city of Velingrad on August 19, a city famous for its healing mineral springs and fresh mountain air. Many tourists stopped to see what the petition was about. Some of the locals expressed their interest in Falun Gong and wanted a formal introduction to the practice in their city, as well as a practice site. A former city commissioner was very moved after learning about the persecution in China. He took a stance against it and signed the petition. He also shared his ideas of how the practitioners could gain more international support.
In all, 299 signatures were collected in both cities. People learned about the universal principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and acknowledged that the principles were very good and that kind and compassionate people did not deserve to be persecuted.
Falun Gong practitioners participated in the 10th Anniversary of Beglika Fest “10 Steps on the Way,” on August 23-26, an annual event that takes place near the “Golyam Beglik” dam. It includes artistic performances (music, theatre, circus), spiritual disciplines, discussions, educational events, crafts, art workshops, entertainment for kids and grownups, sports, etc. A Falun Gong presentation was given twice daily with exercise demonstrations, insights, and discussions on the book of teachings, and lotus origami workshops.
A number of festival-goers were drawn to the Falun Gong booth. They took part in the exercises and learned about the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It was evident that many already knew about Falun Dafa and the persecution in China and came to learn more about the forced organ harvesting from living practitioners. They were told about the recently published comprehensive report “Bloody Harvest – The Slaughter” by human right activists David Matas, David Kilgour, and Ethan Gutmann.