The practice’s founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi, is a five-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and was nominated by the European Parliament for the Sakharov Prize For Freedom of Thought. He is the recipient of Freedom House’s International Religious Freedom Award
Eschewing the spotlight, Mr. Li guides the practice through his writings and occasional speeches, typically at Falun Gong conferences. Mr. Li has always insisted that the practice be taught for free and available to all, and as such, all Falun Gong books, video recordings, and the like are available for free viewing online.
Few people today are aware that Falun Gong and its followers received much in the way of official recognition in China during the 1990s, prior to a dramatic and violent change in political winds in 1999 which saw the practice persecuted.
The same year, The People’s Public Security News—the official newspaper of China’s Ministry of Public Security—praised Mr. Li for his contributions “in promoting the traditional crime-fighting virtues of the Chinese people, in safeguarding social order and security, and in promoting rectitude in society.”
By 1999, Chinese officials went so far as to quantify Falun Gong’s benefits, such as when one official from China’s National Sports Commission, speaking with U.S. News & World Report, declared that Falun Dafa “can save each person 1,000 yuan in annual medical fees. If 100 million people are practicing it, that’s 100 billion yuan saved per year in medical fees.”
The same official went on to note that, “Premier Zhu Rongji is very happy about that.”
Today Falun Gong is practiced in more than 70 countries around the world, with clubs and associations existing in a range of cities, companies, universities, and other settings.
There might very well be one coming soon to a park near you.
For details on how and where to learn Falun Gong, visit: www.falundafa.org