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Bipartisan Leaders Praise Falun Gong’s Values, US Flag Flown to Celebrate Anniversary

U.S. governors and lawmakers praised Falun Gong’s core values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, and adherents’ contribution to local communities, during the 32nd anniversary of the spiritual practice’s introduction to the public by its founder Mr. Li Hongzhi.

“Celebrating this festive occasion allows us to reflect on the indispensable values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance for ourselves and each other,” Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro wrote in a letter to practitioners of the spiritual discipline in the Keystone State.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) sponsored flying U.S. flags over the U.S. Capitol to celebrate the annual occasion.

On May 13, 1992, Mr. Li introduced Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, to the public in northeast China. The spiritual discipline, which involves meditative exercises and moral teachings focused on improving the mind and body, is now practiced in more than 100 countries.

Through word of mouth, the practice grew to some 100 million adherents in China by 1999, according to estimates at the time. That year, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which perceived the practice’s popularity as a threat to its absolute grip on power, started a nationwide campaign of persecution, including torture, psychiatric abuses, and the killing of practitioners for their organs.

Since the start of the persecution on July 20, 1999, Falun Gong adherents have mounted 25 years of peaceful resistance, with volunteer-based coordination between those in and outside of China to raise public awareness about the CCP’s persecution.

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Besides informing the public about the persecution in China, Falun Gong practitioners have continued introducing the practice’s mind and body benefits via free teaching to the public.

A flag of the United States was flown over the U.S. Capitol at the request of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) in special recognition of Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, on May 13, 2024. (Courtesy of Jennie Sheeks)A flag of the United States was flown over the U.S. Capitol at the request of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) in special recognition of Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, on May 13, 2024. (Courtesy of Jennie Sheeks)Falun Gong practitioners participate in a parade to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day in New York City on May 10, 2024. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)Falun Gong practitioners participate in a parade to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day in New York City on May 10, 2024. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)Governors Proclaim Falun Dafa DayU.S. governors in multiple states acknowledged the positive spirit that Falun Gong adherents demonstrate in their local communities.

Many have found “a deeply rewarding spiritual path in Falun Dafa,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in his proclamation designating May 13 as Falun Dafa Day in the Hoosier State.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore complimented Falun Gong practitioners’ “demonstration of high integrity and ability” and said it “merits our great trust and respect” when he awarded them the governor’s citation for their “outstanding services” to his state’s citizens.

In recognition of this year’s anniversary, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz granted a certificate to local Falun Gong practitioners “for their continued commitment to service and for facilitating cultural engagement opportunities in communities across Minnesota and throughout the world.”

Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen also declared May 13 Falun Dafa Day in his state.

Falun Gong adherents in the Washington metropolitan area celebrate World Falun Dafa Day at the Washington Monument ground on May 11, 2024. (Bin Xue for The Epoch Times)Falun Gong adherents in the Washington metropolitan area celebrate World Falun Dafa Day at the Washington Monument ground on May 11, 2024. (Bin Xue for The Epoch Times)Bipartisan Congratulations From LawmakersSens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) congratulated Falun Gong practitioners in Texas on the anniversary of World Falun Dafa Day.

“I applaud each of you for sharing the illustrious history and rich culture of China as well as drawing attention to the violence and persecution the country has endured,” Mr. Cruz wrote. “Falun Dafa practitioners have continued to demonstrate the determination and courage to stand up for Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued a certificate of special recognition in honor of “Master Li Hongzhi introducing Falun Dafa and the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance.”

House representatives across the aisle, including party leaders, also celebrated the occasion with their constituents.

House Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) recognized the Falun Gong community’s “impacts on facets of life on their members and the public.”

“During its many years as an organization, Falun Dafa has been an integral and positive part of the lives of many,” he said in a congratulatory letter. “Not only is it a wide-reaching movement, but its practices also have tangible effects on our society.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), chair of the House Republican Conference, sent Falun Gong practitioners a special congressional recognition for the practice’s anniversary.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) raised a U.S. flag for Falun Dafa Day. The Epoch Times regrets the error.

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