(Minghui.org) Bulgarian Falun Dafa practitioners gathered at the Chinese Embassy on April 26 in the capital city of Sofia to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the peaceful protest that took place on April 25, 1999, in Beijing.

On that day, around 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners went to Beijing to peacefully clarify the truth to the Chinese communist government. They respectfully appealed for the release of several practitioners unjustly arrested days before, and for a free cultivation environment for all Falun Dafa adherents in China.

This historic demonstration marked the beginning of Falun Dafa practitioners’ heroic efforts to counteract the illegal persecution by the Chinese communist regime that has continued for 22 long years.

Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a spiritual practice based on the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. It was introduced to the public in China on May 13, 1992, by its founder Mr. Li Hongzhi.

Around five police cars and 20 police officers surrounded the People’s Republic of China Embassy at 11 a.m. on April 26. We wondered why the Embassy needed such enhanced protection.

Across from the embassy, a group of young practitioners from Sofia put up banners in Chinese and Bulgarian that read, “Stop the Forced Organ Harvesting from Living People,” and “Falun Dafa Is Good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Is Good.” They were later joined by fellow adherents, who came from different cities in Bulgaria.

The practitioners were calm and composed as usual. They never raised their voices and didn’t leave any trash behind. Their kind expressions never changed while talking to the passersby or police officers while they handed out pamphlets, explaining the reason for the event.

Such peaceful protests in front of the Chinese Embassy have been regular events on July 20 and December 10 for the past ten years and quite often on April 25. These three dates have profound meaning for all Dafa adherents.

April 25 is a very important day for Dafa practitioners around the world, because it showed the power of truth. It was the spark of hope that ignited their massive two-decades-long determination to clarify the facts about the persecution and expose the lies of the slanderous Chinese communist propaganda. Their noble cause will make it possible for people around the world to realize the greatness of Dafa and the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.

We asked several practitioners why they wanted to attend the peaceful protest on April 25.

Martin from Sofia said, “I feel it’s my duty to be here today because of the benefits I got from practicing Falun Dafa. I gained spiritual awakening from the immense wisdom of this meditative discipline. I hope that my presence here would resonate with the people on the other side of the Chinese Embassy’s fence, with whom I believe we share common values. I feel their culture is similar to ours and that makes us connected.

“Unfortunately, right now they are misled by the communist regime and are forced to do wrong. I have a heartfelt message for them: ‘Do not fall victim to this persecution against humanity!’ They need to have their priorities straight and to remember that no matter how many material benefits they were promised, those are only temporary. The real meaning is in the traditional culture and values, and the universal tenets of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.”

Ivelina from Dobrich said: “This is the first time I have attended the April 25 protest in Bulgaria. I have participated in them in Germany where there were many more people, including Falun Dafa practitioners who were political refugees. Even though Bulgaria is a smaller country, we still have good representation here. I took a day off to come from my home city of Dobrich.

“I work at a museum and I never miss the chance to tell visitors about the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. I usually start with the swastika, which is an ancient Buddhist symbol but can also be found in the Bulgarian culture. Practicing Falun Dafa is so beneficial and I am shocked that people who engage in peaceful meditation are subjected to such a horrific genocide. The Chinese Communist Party will stop at nothing to carry out its evil agenda and is convinced that it can play with people’s lives forever. But I personally think that its days are numbered, and I believe that the Falun Dafa followers in China will soon be able to freely practice their beliefs, the way we do in Bulgaria.”

Michail from Varna said, “I came with my wife and ten other people to support the peaceful protest in honor of April 25. This date must be commemorated as a symbol of hope. It shows that good conquers evil. I firmly believe that Falun Dafa will prevail over the persecution of the Communist Party, and our fellow practitioners in China will soon be able to practice freely, just like us here. This is our first time at the embassy because we lived with my family in Spain until recently. There we practiced on our own, but now we are part of a big group and we are so happy to be with other practitioners. We are thrilled to be back in Bulgaria because we belong here, where our roots are.”

Category: April 25 Events