I have recently become aware of a belief, meditation, exercise system which you may find interesting. The system is threatening the government of
I was passing
Let’s use our affirmations and prayers to rid the world of these!
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Lawyers representing imprisoned Falun Gong members said the decade-long campaign to wipe out the spiritual movement had not dimmed its fanatical support inside China.
"There are still huge numbers of Falun Gong members in China, in the tens of millions," claimed Han Zhiguang, of the Gongdao law firm in Beijing.
"We do not know the exact number but one thing is certain: it is expanding."
Falun Gong is a mixture of traditional Chinese breathing exercises with philosophy drawn from Buddhism, Taoism and the often unorthodox teachings of Li Hongzhi, its founder. The government, however, has labelled it an "evil cult".
Saturday marks the anniversary of a silent protest outside Zhongnanhai, the Communist Party leadership compound, which is said to have panicked the then-leader, Jiang Zemin, into an iron-fisted response. Huge numbers of Falun Gong practitioners are still imprisoned in China and followers allege that more than 3,200 have been killed.
According to a report on torture in China by the United Nations in 2007, Falun Gong members accounted for two-thirds of all reported torture cases and for half of China's prison camp population. There are continuing allegations that China used organs from executed Falun Gong followers in transplant operations.
Cheng Hai, a Beijing-based lawyer, said he had been attacked and badly beaten earlier this week while on the way to a meeting in Chengdu with the mother of a Falun Gong follower. His client, Tao Yuan, is appealing for release from prison to receive medical treatment.
Mr Cheng, who said he felt it was his "duty" to uphold the human rights of his clients, said the government had not succeeded in "rooting out the belief".
He said: "There are more people sticking to their beliefs. Many people have been thrown in prison several times, but they do not give up."
He added that there had been a particular period of pressure ahead of last year's Olympic games, but that there had been a slight relaxation this year.
He said, however, that anyone publicly admitting to following the movement would place himself in extreme danger and almost certainly rule out being able to find any future employment.
Mr Cheng said lawyers had won a series of small victories in representing the Falun Gong. "We have managed to hold open trials in which we were able to plead not guilty to the charges. That is a good way of increasing people's awareness about what is going on. We have managed to get retrials and rulings for probation rather than imprisonment."
He added, however, that the movement suffered from a credibility problem because of the fanaticism of its members. "When they speak out, they are never convincing," he said.
Jiang Yu, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, said that the government had moved to protect people by banning the Falun Gong. "The movement has caused illness, disability and even the death of many innocent people," he said. "The cult violates human rights by seeking to control people's minds."