Thirty teens from around the world are riding 3,000 miles for an extremely special purpose. No, it’s not for fitness or to break a world record.
It’s for a much more special purpose, which a lot of people would not know about.
“Through this biking project titled Ride 2 Freedom, they aim to spread awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, and ultimately rescue 5 children tragically orphaned because of it,” the Buzzfeed website says.
Their remarkable Ride 2 Freedom began on June 1 in Los Angeles and after 45 days of which they will have passed through 19 cities, and will end their journey in Washington, D.C.
The participating youths are from China, the United States, Germany, France, Israel, Australia, India, South America, Russia, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Hungary, and Singapore.
So what is Falun Gong, and why are the people who practice it being persecuted in China?
Falun Gong is a spiritual practice that includes slow, gentle exercises and incorporates the principles of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance. The practice had an enormous following in China before the Chinese Communist Party tried to banish it in 1999.
The Falun Dafa Information Center website says: “The Chinese authorities have utilized a wide variety of mechanisms in their efforts to force adherents to renounce their faith and ultimately wipe out the spiritual group. These strategies have ranged from extreme use of torture and sexual abuse, to the intimidation and harassment of adherents’ family members, to the establishment of a nationwide extralegal task force to implement the eradication policy.”
But the most shocking of all is the illegal organ harvesting of Falun Dafa practitioners in China. It has been found that the Chinese Communist Party has been harvesting practitioners’ organs from them while they are still alive and selling them. Recently, an award-winning documentary on this horrific practice has been released, and is shocking people all over the world.
Participating youths doing Falun Dafa meditation:
The youngest rider is 11-year-old Aila Verheijke ,who was born in Beijing. Her grandparents are Falun Gong practitioners and were jailed several times. Her grandmother was tortured until she was blind and deaf. She recovered after leaving China and continues to practice Falun Gong, reported the Minghui website.
Alia (far left below) said: “On the journey, we will face challenges and difficulties. But they will be far less compared with the suffering of Falun Gong practitioners who have been persecuted.”
They plan to meet with President Barack Obama and ask him to help rescue the orphans in China. They also plan to meet with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and address the U.N. assembly. A select number of riders and senior team leaders will travel to China to rescue the five orphaned children.
Watch their video Ride2Freedom: