Falun Gong

Falun Gong or Falun Dafa (literally means "Dharma Wheel Practice" or "Law Wheel Practice") is a spiritual discipline first introduced in China in 1992 through public lectures by its founder, Li Hongzhi. It combines the practice of meditation and slow-moving qigong exercises with a moral philosophy. Falun Gong emphasizes morality and the cultivation of virtue in its central tenets of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance (Chinese: 真、善、忍), and identifies as a qigong practice of the Buddhist school, though its teachings also incorporate elements drawn from Taoist traditions. Through moral rectitude and the practice of meditation, practitioners of Falun Gong aspire to better health and, ultimately, spiritual enlightenment.

Falun Gong emerged at the end of China's "qigong boom"—a period which saw the proliferation of similar practices of meditation, slow-moving exercises and regulated breathing. It differs from other qigong schools in its absence of fees or formal membership, lack of daily rituals of worship, its greater emphasis on morality, and the theological nature of its teachings. Western academics have described Falun Gong as a qigong discipline, a "spiritual movement" based on the teachings of its founder, a "cultivation system" in the tradition of Chinese antiquity, and sometimes a religion or new religious movement.

Although the practice initially enjoyed considerable support from Chinese officialdom, by the mid- to late-1990s, the Communist Party and public security organs increasingly viewed Falun Gong as a potential threat due to its size, independence from the state, and spiritual teachings. By 1999, some estimates placed the number of Falun Gong adherents in the tens of millions.

On 20 July 1999, after three years of mounting tensions between the group and the government, the Communist Party leadership initiated a nationwide crackdown and multifaceted propaganda campaign intended to eradicate the practice. In October 1999 it declared Falun Gong a "heretical organization" and blocked Internet access to websites that mention Falun Gong. Human rights groups report that Falun Gong practitioners in China are subject to a wide range of human rights abuses; hundreds of thousands are believed to have been imprisoned extrajudicially, and practitioners in detention are subject to forced labor, psychiatric abuse, torture, and other coercive methods of thought reform at the hands of Chinese authorities. In the years since the suppression campaign began, Falun Gong adherents have emerged as a prominent voice in the Chinese dissident community, advocating for greater human rights and an end to Communist Party rule.

Li Hongzhi has lived in the United States since 1996, and Falun Gong has a sizable global constituency; inside China, some sources estimate that millions may continue to practice Falun Gong in spite of suppression. Hundreds of thousands are believed to practice Falun Gong outside China across some 70 countries worldwide.

Read more about Falun GongOrigins, Categorization, Organization, Demography, Suppression, Falun Gong Outside China, International Reception, Controversies

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Teachings Of Falun Gong - Cultivation - Zhuan Falun, The Main Book
... The teachings of Falun Gong are encompassed in two central works Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun Falun Gong is an introductory book that discusses qigong, introduces the principles of the practice, and provides ... Zhuan Falun is the main teaching and the most comprehensive work it is an edited version of Li's nine-lecture series, 54 of which he taught across China between 1992 and 1994 ... Ownby regards Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun to be largely consistent in terms of content, though he says "important differences in nuance distinguish the two." ...
Les Presses Chinoises - Controversy
... tool for the Chinese Communist Party in Canada by the Falun Gong ... This accusation is based on the paper's anti-Falun Gong stance ... throughout Canada, a free 32-page tabloid, without a single advertisement, condemning the Falun Gong spiritual group ...
Masanjia Labor Camp
... China has not disclosed the exact number of Falun Gong followers held in re-education through labor camps ... that “th camp has also succeeded in `re-educating’ more than 90 per cent of the 1,000 female Falun Gong members housed there.” Falun Gong practitioners abroad claim that many members have been tortured at ... that approximately 80% of the prisoners are Falun Gong, the rest being petitioners with general grievances against the government ...
Tiananmen Square Self-immolation Incident - Aftermath - Impact On Falun Gong's Resistance
... The self-immolation necessitated a change in tactics for Falun Gong ... "permanently contaminated" as a venue for protest, according to journalist Ethan Gutmann, and Falun Gong's daily demonstrations in Beijing nearly ceased altogether ... In an August 2001 press release, the U.S.-based Falun Dafa Information Center noted this shift in strategy, and said that Chinese practitioners "sometimes also manage to post large posters ...
Falun Gong - Controversies
... the most persistent controversies surrounding Falun Gong is its characterization by the PRC government as "xiejiao"—a "heterodox organization", "evil religion", or "evil cult" ... Buddhist Association, concerned with Buddhist apostates taking up Falun Gong practice, were the first to term Falun Gong xiejiao in the latter half of 1996 ... of that term is "heretical teaching", but during the anti-Falun Gong propaganda campaign was rendered as "evil cult" in English ...