(Minghui.org) “They were doing the exercises, and they looked so relaxed and calm,” said Sonja Abt, who saw a Falun Dafa exercise demonstration on the shores of Lake Constance in Bregenz, Austria. Sonja, who is from Germany, said she stopped and asked practitioners for more information about Falun Dafa. “I like this practice very much. It makes me feel beautiful and peaceful,” she said.

On June 24, 2023, in several cities around Lake Constance, many people, like Sonja, stopped after seeing practitioners demonstrate the exercises. After learning that the practice teaches people how to live according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and that it is being brutally persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), people signed a petition to call for an end to the persecution. After signing, a number of people stayed and helped practitioners distribute fliers.

Lake Constance, the largest freshwater lake in the German-speaking region of Europe, is located at the junction of Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

Lake Constance is the largest freshwater lake in the German-speaking region of Europe. It is located at the junction of Switzerland, Austria and Germany and is jointly managed by the three countries. That day, practitioners from these three countries demonstrated the exercises in Bregenz and Feldkirch in Austria, and Lindau and Friedrichshafen in Germany. They introduced Falun Dafa to the public by various means, including teaching people how to make origami lotus flowers. They also held a car tour, displaying car-top billboards with information about Falun Dafa and the persecution in China.

On the banks of Lake Constance in Bregenz, Austria, people sign a petition to call for an end to the persecution in China. Falun Dafa booth in Feldkirch, AustriaFalun Dafa booth in Lindau, GermanyPeople sign the petition in Friedrichshafen, Germany. 

Passersby learn about Falun Dafa. Practitioners talk with passersby about the CCP’s persecution in China.People sign the petition calling to end the persecution. 

Mother and Daughter Commend Falun Dafa

At the booth in Feldkirch, 12-year-old Nora held an origami lotus flower and looking at the words, “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance,” written on the card attached to the flower, she said, “Very good. This is what we want in life. I also learned about it in school. It is very important that people can radiate this [Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance] so that life can continue.” 

Nora’s mother, Christina Nocker-Albrecht, agreed. Christina, a nurse, said, “Without kindness, we will not survive. Because we are not perfect, we need to feel kindness from others, to face our ignorance and negligence. Tolerance is also related to our mindfulness to others and ourselves. I am very happy to know of these principles.”

While talking with practitioners, Christina learned about the CCP’s bloody persecution of Falun Dafa. She said, “I am shocked. It’s so sad to hear about all the persecution that’s happened. It’s great that you explain all of this to people. It’s really important for people to understand this.”

She signed the petition and said, “I hope that people can learn about the persecution and unite. I hope they [practitioners] can continue to live according to Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. I hope my signature will play a role.” 

The Exercises Eliminated My Negative Thoughts

Ingrid and her husband had a long conversation with practitioners during the event in Feldkirch. She learned all five exercises and remarked, “I like these exercises very much. They allowed me to calm down and stopped my negative thoughts. This is very good for me.” After learning the exercises, she said happily, “If I continue to practice [Falun Dafa], I think I could fly!”

Ingrid learned the Falun Dafa exercises during the event in Feldkirch. 

She added, “For those who have a lot of negative thoughts in their minds, practicing Falun Dafa is really good, because those thoughts are gone.”

Ingrid repeatedly said, “I really can’t understand why the CCP wants to ban these exercises in China. I don’t understand. Those who ban this practice and want people to continue to think negatively are evil.”

Several people learned the exercises during the Sunday event in Bregenz.

People learn the Falun Dafa exercises during an awareness-raising event in Bregenz. 

Reading the display board about Falun Dafa and the CCP’s persecution.

Signing the petition in Bregenz on Sunday. 

Like Ingrid, many people cannot understand why the CCP persecutes Falun Dafa. Christine Mayer, who lives in Austria, was walking with her family on the shores of Lake Constance in Bregenz. She was happy to see the practitioners’ exercise demonstration, because she used to practice Falun Dafa. “It made me feel that my body and mind were rectified, and I benefited a lot. At that time, my children were young, and I often felt stressed, but the exercises helped me calm down.”

She said, “Practicing Falun Dafa is important today. It can relieve people’s stress and reconcile their body, spirit, and soul. I feel fulfilled in life by following Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, allowing me to face what’s going on in the world now.”

Christine said she couldn’t understand why anyone would persecute Falun Dafa. “The persecution is terrible, horrific, and inhuman,” she said. “Whenever I see or hear about it, I find it unreasonable, that there are still such things in today’s world. I can’t understand this.”

Christine and her family signed the petition. “I want to help practitioners,” she said. “I hope that practitioners in China can be free. I hope to help them. That’s very important to me.”

Persecution of Falun Dafa Is a Serious Crime

Gerhard, a retired truck driver, saw the display boards in Feldkirch describing the CCP’s organ harvesting from living practitioners and immediately signed the petition condemning the brutalities.

He said, “It’s terrible! I have heard about the CCP’s crime of live organ harvesting and the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners. This is a disaster! Ordering organs is crazy. This has caused so much grievance, so much pain. I can’t understand why this is happening. This is a serious crime of the regime and those who are in power. This is the most serious crime. Terrible! So cruel!”

But Gerhard is convinced it won’t last long. “It’s going to be exposed; it’s going to be judged; there’s justice. God is coming, and then everything’s going to be okay. We’re in a dark time now, but we still have to live. This time will not be long. Everything will be better in a few years,” he affirmed.

He said he agreed with Falun Dafa's principles and wished practitioners good luck.

Practitioners Encouraged to Continue Raising Awareness 

Although it was the first time he had heard of Falun Dafa, Harry said he realized that Falun Dafa, “Is a free and unorganized group. They [practitioners] only come together because of a common goal. And this common goal is to raise awareness, which I think is very good.”

He pointed out, “In fact, the CCP controls power. Many groups will make people free and let people start to think freely, but the [CCP ] regime cannot control such people, so it persecutes them.”

Harry said that even though the CCP is as stubborn as a rock, practitioners’ resistance to the persecution is like water constantly dripping on the rock, and it will eventually shatter.

After a long conversation with a practitioner in Bregenz, Sonia signed a petition to end the persecution. She said, “I was shocked to hear what the CCP has been doing. Because they [Falun Dafa practitioners] are absolutely peaceful, I can’t understand why they should be persecuted. The [CCP] regime is unreasonable. It’s terrible. It’s terrifying, and such things [persecution] should never have happened.

“I must sign the petition. I think it is important. I hope my signature can help stop the persecution, especially the live organ harvesting, which is intolerable.” 

When she learned that the event would be held at the same place the next day, Sonia said she would bring her friends to sign the petition. “I will definitely tell more people: Falun Dafa is a peaceful practice that allows people to find themselves. But practitioners are persecuted in their own country, which is unreasonable. It is important for people to know this. Knowledge is power. The more people know this, the more people will object to this [persecution].”