The most dangerous violence according to Huntington occurs “across fault lines between world’s major civilisations” (28). Religion being the defining characteristic of civilisation is thus crucial in world affairs. This essay will discuss the impact of religions on contemporary societies by focusing on Falun Gong religion in China.
One of the most controversial religions in the world is Falun Gong (Falun Dafa) in China. Penny defines Falun Gong as “a system of self-cultivation and a Chinese spiritual discipline for mind and body” (Penny, 4). Li Hongzhi (1951- ) founded Falun Gong in May 1992 during his lectures in Changchun the capital of Jilin province (Penny, 4). It involves physical and spiritual cultivation. It emerged from ancient qigong practices and was a way of enhancing health and fitness. Falun Gong is derived from two Buddist words: Falun meaning the wheel of Buddhist law or Dharma and Gong meaning exercises or practices involving qi. As such, it is called “the practice of the wheel of law” or Falun Dafa meaning “great method of the wheel of law” (Penny, 5. It involves five set of breathing exercises including one seated meditation. Three moral tenets are the foundations of Falun Gong: truthfulness or benevolence, compassion and forbearance (Zhen-Shan- Ran).
The origin of Falun Gong is qigong practices in China. Qigong is a bio-spiritual practice that involves manipulation of qi (chi). Buddhist qigong masters founded qigong and it is characterised by slow movement, regulated breathing and meditation. In this case, however, Li claims to insert falun into the abdomen of practitioners so that they have falun energy rotating inside them (Tong, 7). The practice began during qigong boom in China in the 1980s and 1990s and different groups in China performed it. The Chinese called this period “qigong