World Religions

Falun Gong

Falun Gong ( literally "Practice of the Wheel of Law") is also known as Falun Dafa ( "The Law Wheel Great Law") is a system of quasi-religious qigong introduced by Li Hongzhi in 1992. Central to Falun Gong are five sets of meditation exercises (four standing, and one sitting).) Li Hongzhi, in his books and lectures, claims that his methods are superior to those of any other qigong school.
Falun Gong has been the focus of international controversy since the government of the People's Republic of China began a nationwide suppression of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999 for its alleged illegal activities. Concerns were triggered especially when 10,000 practitioners assembled in a peaceful protest at the Central Appeal Office at Foyou street, outside Zhongnanhai. [citation needed]
There is no concept of membership in Falun Gong, therefore the actual number of practitioners in the world is unknown. After the crackdown began, the number of Falun Gong practitioners in China was estimated by the government at 2.1 million in 1999. The membership claimed by the Falun Gong was much larger; it claimed to have 100 million followers worldwide with over 70 million in China. The New York Times mentioned a figure of "at least 70 million" in two articles, both released on April 27, 1999. According to the articles, this figure was the estimate of China's State Sports Administration.

Falun Gong History

Falun Gong (Falun Dafa) was introduced to the public by Li Hongzhi on May 13, 1992, as a Qigong exercise in Changchun, China. According to Li, Falun Gong is an advanced cultivation system in the "Buddha School" which, in the past, was handed down to chosen disciples and served as an intensive cultivation method that required practitioners with extremely high “Xinxing” (mind-nature) or “great inborn quality.” Li taught the practice for three years and since then the Falun Gong has been promoted by practitioners themselves voluntarily. Falun Gong quickly grew in popularity to become one of the most popular Qigong systems in China and since 1996, Li has introduced the practice to other Asian countries as well as western countries.
According to a report in a Chinese newspaper, Li’s neighbors, co-workers, brother in law and early followers credited Li’s success to lies and his teachings to a mix of terms and ideas borrowed from Qigong, Buddhism, Taoism and even Christianity. At the beginning, Li introduced himself to the public as a master with the utmost supernatural powers and wisdom. In “A Short Biography of Mr. Li Hongzhi” which appeared as an appendix in the early version of the group’s bible Zhuan Falun, Li claimed to have been trained by numerous Masters in Buddhism and Taoism since the age of four and acquired supernatural powers at age of eight. He could levitate off the ground and become invisible simply by thinking "Nobody can see me.” Two other supernatural powers were his ability to control people’s movements by thoughts and to move himself anywhere he wanted by thought alone. Li also presented himself as the very embodiment of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance and claimed to have discovered the truth of the universe…the origin of humankind and foresaw the development and future of the humankind.

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  Facts about Falun Gong
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