“Mainland Chinese Send New Year Greetings to Founder of Falun Gong”

In Leo Timm’s article “Mainland Chinese Send New Year Greetings to Founder of Falun Gong” (http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1172946-mainland-chinese-send-new-year-greetings-to-founder-of-falun-gong/) , they discuss the overwhelming response that Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi received upon starting 2015. Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners from all around the world sent New Years Greeting cards and message to Mr. Hongzhi, showing a massive amount of support towards the new religious movement that has been suppressed by the Chinese Communist Party for the past 15 years. While some critics have labelled this new spiritual movement as a cult, the mass number of participants from many areas of the world beg to differ. Mr. Hongzhi has been able to teach and guide over 50 lectures discussing the benefits and workings of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) , which in turn has led to the creation of “Zhan Falun”, a book about the religious movement, being translated into 39 languages. He personally has taught over thousands of individuals, but these books have allowed for millions of people to begin learning about Falun Gong. Such a large global spread has created a united community that isn’t limited to one geographic area, creating the idea that it belongs under a denominational label. So while Falun Gong is being praised for its physical and mental health benefits, why does the word “cult” even arise? Probably because of the massive number of physical punishments that practitioners are experiencing in China. Torture, exclusion, and beatings have been forced upon at least 3,600 supporters of Falun Gong. This type of societal tension with the local Chinese government creates an opportunity for the media to over-emphasize “cult-like” features on this growing spiritual practice. Despite this criticism, Falun Gong allows anyone to join, and doesn’t require any special baptism or initiation in order to begin experiencing the benefits promised from participation. Not only does Falun Gong allow open membership for joiners all around the world, Li Honzhi even received an award from the Chinese Ministry of Public Security for the positive impact Falun gong has had on society.

-a.laze

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