Falun Gong

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Falun Gong

(fä-lo͞on go͞ong), also known as Falun Dafa (dä-fä), movement promoting physical and spiritual well-being that became widespread China in the 1990s. Founded in 1992 by Li Hongzhi (1951?–), a former Changchun grain clerk, it combines exercise routines, said to provide focus for the body's energy, with a code of spiritual discipline, intended to foster physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Falun Gong's practices derive from qigong, traditional physical exercises related to tai chi, and from Buddhist and Taoist meditation techniques and spiritual elements. Practitioners cultivate moral precepts that stress zhen (truthfulness), shan (compassion), and ren (forbearance).

Falun Gong, which spread rapidly throughout China in the last decade of the 20th cent., was viewed as a cult by the Chinese government, which vehemently opposed the movement and condemned it in the media. In 1998, Li fled to the United States. His movement, however, remained strong in China and gained adherents through proselytization in the United States and other nations. Chinese members staged protests against government persecution, and in Apr., 1999, when the movement claimed to have roughly 70 million members in China, some 10,000 adherents gathered in a peaceful, silent protest outside Zhongnanhai, the large government and Communist party compound in Beijing. Now regarding the movement as threat to party rule, China outlawed it and arrested and imprisoned members. There also were and continue to be reports of the torture and killing of adherents; some 2,000 persons are believed to have died as a result of the persecution of the group. The systematic suppression of the Falun Gong in China remains a government policy.

Bibliography

See Li Hongzhi, Zhuan Falun (tr. 2000); I. Adams et al., ed., Power of the Wheel: The Falun Gong Revolution (2000); D. Schechter, Falun Gong's Challenge to China (2000); S. Spiegel, Dangerous Meditation: China's Campaign against Falungong (2002); M. H. Chang, Falun Gong: The End of Days (2004); D. Ownby, Falun Gong and the Future of China (2008).

References in periodicals archive ?
"Through this project I will get to save five Falun Dafa orphans and I will also help the world to know what is happening in China to Falun Dafa practitioners, something the majority of people don't know about", she said.
When David, who says he was always interested in martial arts and eastern philosophy, first started practising Falun Dafa in 2005 he was suffering from ME but he soon regained his health.
The PRC government charges that Falun Dafa has disrupted social order and contributed to the deaths of hundreds of Chinese practitioners and non-practitioners by discouraging medical treatment and causing or exacerbating mental disorders leading to violent acts.
The women, nameless for obvious reasons, claim that a majority of the 110 practitioners of Falun Dafa who have been killed in police custody were women.
Members of the meditation-based spiritual movement Falun Dafa had staked out some real estate on a grass strip next to the court building.
16 Reuters dispatch from China reported that "Falun Gong" adherents marched behind a protest sign labeled "Falun Dafa."
On May 13, 2012, the twentieth anniversary of his first public speech promoting Falun Dafa, better known as Falun Gong, the new religious movement's founder and leader Li Hongzhi gave a speech to a packed audience of his "disciples" in New York.
Also called Falun Dafa, the sect claims 100 million followers worldwide.
But go deeper into Falun Dafa - more commonly known as Falun Gong - and you get into the realms of enlightenment and the truth of the universe.
Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa as it is sometimes called in Taiwan, is considered a spiritual movement and not a religion.
Holding banners reading ''Falun Dafa is good,'' and ''Falun Dafa benefits the country, benefits the people,'' the protesters practiced their breathing meditation exercises outside the government headquarters as part of their protest.
Best View: Oregon Falun Dafa Association; runner-up, da Vinci Days