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What is Falun Gong?

An Ancient Tradition for Mind, Body, and Spirit

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient Chinese spiritual discipline in the Buddhist tradition. It is practiced by tens of millions of people
in over 70 countries around the world.

Pronounced "Fah-loon Gong,"the practice consists of moral teachings and five gentle exercises, including meditation. These are a truly unique and highly effective way to improve health and energy levels.

At the core of Falun Gong are the values of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance (or in Chinese, Zhen 真 Shan 善 Ren 忍). Falun Dafa teaches that these are the most basic qualities of the universe, and they are a guide for daily life and practice.

The teachings of Falun Dafa are set forth in a number of texts by the practice’s founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi. These writings are available for free online at

The five gentle exercises can also be learned on the website or, even better, at a practice site in a park near you – always free of charge. You can see a list of locations here.

Why the Persecution?

Falun Gong is practiced by millions of people around the world, but the only place it cannot be practiced freely is in China. In China today, people who practice Falun Gong can be arrested, or even killed, for meditating.

Falun Gong became very popular in China in the 1990s. Within a few short years there were some 100 million people practicing Falun Gong in China alone. But the ruling Chinese Communist Party, which is an atheist regime that does not allow true freedom of belief, was afraid of the practice’s popularity. And so, in 1999, the head of the Communist Party banned Falun Gong.

Overnight, millions of peaceful people were labeled enemies of the state. Tens of thousands of them were arrested and held in massive stadiums. Some were sent to labor camps where they were forced to do hard labor for 20 hours a day; others were sent to jails where they were beaten and tortured. Thousands of people have been tortured to death, and countless families have been torn apart.

The facts of these atrocities have been documented by leading human rights organizations, like Amnesty International and Freedom House. Governments around the world have called for an end to the persecution, including U.S. Congress and the European Union.

At the beginning of the persecution, police seized and burned Falun Gong books—in scenes that reminded many of book burning in Nazi Germany. State-run media in China ran daily articles with lies about Falun Gong and the people who practice it, trying to turn people against their neighbors, colleagues, and even family members.

But today, 16 years after the persecution began, public opinion in China has slowly turned against the persecution and is siding with Falun Gong. Millions of Chinese people have come out in public to support Falun Gong practitioners and speak out against human rights abuses. The days of persecution are numbered, and soon people in China will again be able to meditate peacefully in a park—which is all they ever wanted to do.

Find out more:
  • Why is the Communist Party persecuting Falun Gong
  • Falun Gong FAQs
  • Government and human rights organization documentation of the persecution
  • Personal stories
  • Nonviolent resistance to persecution in China
  • Free China movie