Gong Xiaoyan, originally from China\u2019s\u00a0Qingdao City in\u00a0Shandong Province,\u00a0has settled and worked\u00a0in Silicon Valley for many years now. But in her mother country, the persecution of the peaceful meditation practice, Falun Gong, hits close to home.\r\n\r\nFalun Gong is a self-improvement spiritual practice that was introduced in China in the early 1990s. With\u00a0truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance as its core principles, the practice\u2019s benefits to physical and mental health led to its widespread popularity, with more than 70 million adherents in China by 1999, according to a state survey. Practitioners say their numbers reached more than 100 million.\r\n\r\nBut Falun Gong\u2019s popularity was perceived as a threat to the Chinese Communist Party\u2019s authoritarian ideology, and the Chinese regime launched a nationwide persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in 1999. The official press office for Falun Gong, the Falun Dafa Information Center, estimates that millions of Falun Gong adherents have been arrested and detained since the persecution started, often enduring torture and abuse while imprisoned.\r\n\r\nAfter enduring a decade of persecution, the Gong family in China again faces danger.\r\n\r\nIn Oct., Gong\u2019s family home in\u00a0Qingdao City\u00a0was raided by police. Gong\u2019s parents were taken away\u00a0by local police.\u00a0Gong\u2019s mother was allowed to go home the next day, but her father Gong Piqi\u00a0has since been\u00a0incarcerated at the Pudong Detention Center in\u00a0Jimo District, Qingdao City.\r\n\r\nPolice also ransacked the home, confiscating Gong father\u2019s notebook computer and over 157,000 yuan (US$23,600) in cash, Gong said. In China, Falun Gong practitioners regularly suffer this kind of unlawful treatment at the hands of the authorities,\u00a0as documented by Minghui.org, a U.S.-based website that tracks the persecution of Falun Gong in China.\r\n\r\nGong explained that the latest round of persecution was carried out by the provincial authorities, executing a new directive from top officials, the \u201cdoor knocking\u201d campaign that began in March this year. \u00a0Typically a team of two policemen go in pair knocking on the doors of every home that belongs to a known Falun Gong practitioner. The policemen will probe if the person still practices Falun Gong. If the person is not at home, their workplaces, friends, and relatives are also visited. Anyone found in possession of Falun Gong-related literature or materials is detained.\r\n\r\nAccording to related reports on Minghui.org,\u00a0over 20 Falun Gong practitioners\u00a0in Qingdao City\u00a0were kidnapped and had their homes ransacked on\u00a0Oct. 16, the same day as\u00a0Gong\u2019s parents,\u00a0as part of the \u201cdoor knocking\u201c campaign. Many of the practitioners are elderly, some over 70 years-old.\r\n\r\nPudong Detention Center has denied the lawyer representing Gong Piqi from visiting him, but what worries Gong Xiaoyan most is her father\u2019s health.\u00a0Not much detail is known of her father\u2019s situation, but Gong has received some bad news. \u201cI couldn\u2019t believe in less than two weeks, my father can\u2019t walk,\u201d Gong said at a gathering\u00a0to appeal her father\u2019s imprisonment\u00a0in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, California\u00a0on Oct 26th.\r\nHistory of Persecution\r\nGong\u2019s whole family started to practice Falun Gong in 1995. Gong Xiaoyan still remembers her father\u00a0finishing overnight the entire length of \u201cZhuan Falun,\u201d Falun Gong\u2019s main text of teachings. He was overjoyed to have found his path in life.\r\n\r\nSince the persecution started in 1999, the family\u2019s peaceful lives were disrupted.\u00a0Young\u00a0Gong spent her days in fear. She watched on as her mother got taken away to the police station every so often. Her mother would be gone for a few days, sometimes a few weeks. She\u00a0knew\u00a0no security while growing up.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis is not the first time Gong Piqi, now 62, is being incarcerated for his faith. From May 2005 to April 2006, he was kept in a brainwashing center\u00a0run by Qingdao City\u2019s 610 office\u2014a Gestapo-like police set up to exclusively carry out the persecution of Falun Gong.\u00a0He\u00a0was forced to listen and read propaganda defaming Falun Gong.\u00a0Gong recalled visits to her father during that time, accompanied by her grandmother who was over 70 years old. Her mother was also serving a prison sentence for refusing to give up faith in the principles of Falun Gong, truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. \u201cI was crying inside. My dad\u2019s hair turned white, he needed support to walk or stand, and his hands were shaking.\u201d These memories torment Gong Xiaoyan now.\r\n\r\nGong Piqi\u00a0served in the Chinese military all his life before the persecution. \u201cIn the environment where the whole nation is in pursuit of corruption, and when it was even worse in the military, Father stood out after he began practicing Falun Gong,\u201d Gong Xiaoyan said. Before practicing, her father smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day. Every night, there were lavish feasts and drinking parties thrown for military officials. Luxury brand gifts were given as bribes. After practicing Falun Gong, her father quit smoking and drinking, and steer clear of bribes at his workplace\u2014rare in the military.\r\nPersecution of Good People\r\n\u201cYet, to be a good and decent person, one needs to pay a price nowadays,\u201d Gong Xiaoyan said.\r\n\r\nGong also recalled many of her close acquaintances suffering severe persecution. The Gong\u2019s neighbor, Liu Jiming, recovered from various chronic illnesses after she practiced Falun Gong. The Liu family became happier and more harmonious\u00a0as a result. yet Liu was arrested by local authorities for refusing to give up her faith, and later died in detention.\r\n\r\nAnother family friend, Zou Songtao, a PhD candidate at a local maritime college, used to give Gong Xiaoyan math tutoring lessons. He was also arrested for practicing Falun Gong. Zou was beaten so severely that he fell into a coma and died after three days in prison, Gong recalled. Zou\u2019s wife, who was also detained,\u00a0went missing\u00a0not long after. The couple had left behind a one year old daughter, Gong said.\r\n\r\nBack in China,\u00a0Gong has a classmate and neighbor Yang Jin. Yang\u2019s mother also practiced Falun Gong. \u201cShe used to keep me company when our mothers were both in detained in 2005. We comforted, encouraged, and looked after each other. Now my father is in detention again, her mother is also suffering imprisonment,\u201d Gong said.\r\n\r\nIn an effort to rescue father and other Falun Gong practitioners, Gong recently sent a letter to the White House and President Donald Trump\u2019s office, calling for attention to the ongoing human rights violations against Falun Gong adherents in China. \u201cI hope President Trump will speak up publicly on this issue, because previously the Obama administration seemed to have been largely silent and made no real efforts. I hope President Trump will raise the issue openly and help Falun Gong practitioners to gain the freedom to practice in their own country.\u201d\r\n\r\nGong hopes that one day there will be freedom in her motherland. \u201cI would also like to appeal to [China\u2019s leader] Xi Jinping, as part of a new generation of Chinese leaders, to end this persecution sooner rather than later.\u201d\r\n\r\nThis article\u00a0courtesy of The Epoch Times. Click here to visit the original.