(Minghui.org) Paris, one of the largest cities in Europe, is known for its art, culture, and history. In September 2022 practitioners were invited to introduce Falun Dafa at neighborhood festivals, in which over 150 organizations participated. Many people really liked what they saw and heard, and thanked practitioners for their contribution.
The 5th Arrondissement
Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements or districts, and the 5th Arrondissement is the oldest. The Place du Pantheon is located in the center of the 5th, and practitioners joined other groups at the festival, setting up a tent and introducing the practice to passersby by demonstrating the exercises, displaying posters, and handing out flyers.
Violaine Hacke is the arrondissement councilor responsible for sports. She was happy to hear that the arrondissement council had invited practitioners to this event. “These values [Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance] are very important,” she said. “I would recommend them to everyone.”
Marie-Christine Lemardeley, the Deputy Mayor of Paris, was also a former president of Sorbonne-New University. Currently in charge of higher education, student life, and research in the city, she was pleased to learn about Falun Dafa and its benefits to society.
Many who live nearby said they were happy to see practitioners at the event, and stopped for more information. Some signed up for the free teaching sessions in both the 5th and 6th arrondissements.
People are Interested in Learning the Exercises
Located next to the Seine River, the 11th Arrondissement boasts some of the most famous squares in Paris. Among more than 150 organizations gathered along Boulevard Richard-Lenoir, the practitioners’ booth attracted attention because of the peaceful meditation. Passersby watched the exercise demonstration, and some even learned how to say “Falun Dafa is good” and “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good” in Chinese.
Both the deputy mayor and several 11th Arrondissement councilors stopped to talk with practitioners. They were happy to accept flyers and hand-made lotus flowers. The officials left their contact information if the practitioners needed any help.
The booth in the 12th Arrondissement also drew broad interest. Many people signed petitions calling for an end to the ongoing suppression in China. Some learned the exercises and signed up for the free learning sessions at Parc de Vincennes.
Located on the right bank of the Seine River, the 19th Arrondissement is near Chinatown. Some local residents, including Chinese as well as tourists, learned about Falun Dafa.
When a Chinese woman asked questions, a practitioner told her about Falun Dafa and clarified the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda about the practice. The woman was curious how the practice was so effective at improving physical fitness and moral character. She left her phone number, saying she would like to join the group exercises and learn the movements.
Chantal and Patrick had a booth next to the practitioners. Patrick said he thought Falun Dafa was very good—different from other meditation systems he had seen.
Ms. Rodiguez, a business manager, lives in the 19th Arrondissement. She said Falun Dafa benefits society. “People really need to be tolerant these days. Compassion is also critical. Of course, being truthful is something we must strive for,” she said.
Emmanuel, a sophomore college student majoring in politics, and her mother stopped by the booth. They were very interested in learning the exercises. They asked many questions about how to get started and said they would like to attend a learning session in the near future.
Background: What Is Falun Dafa and Why Is the CCP Persecuting It?
Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) was first introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in Changchun, China, in 1992. The spiritual discipline is now practiced in over 100 countries and regions worldwide. Millions of people who have embraced the teachings, which are based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, and have learned the five exercises have experienced improved health and well-being.
Jiang Zemin, former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), perceived the spiritual discipline’s growing popularity as a threat to the CCP’s atheistic ideology, and on July 20, 1999, he issued an order to eradicate the practice.
Under Jiang’s personal direction, the CCP established the 610 Office, an extralegal security organization with the power to override the police and judicial systems and whose sole function is to carry out the persecution of Falun Dafa.
Minghui.org has confirmed the deaths of thousands of practitioners as a result of the persecution over the past 23 years. The actual number is believed to be much higher. Countless practitioners have been imprisoned and tortured for their faith.
There is concrete evidence that the CCP sanctions the harvesting of organs from detained practitioners, who are murdered to supply China’s organ transplant industry.
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