Drawing Back the Curtains: Shen Yun: Dance Troupe or Persecuted Sect?

Marketing madness

Despite its ubiquitous marketing, Shen Yun itself spends no money on advertising. Instead, the organization relies on networks of volunteers throughout the world to raise money and promote the show in their areas.

Religious roots

Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, emerged from the “Qigong boom” of the 1980s and 1990s, a social phenomenon that saw an explosive rise in the popularity of Qigong, a tai chi-like practice that claimed to promote health and spirituality through specific movements and breathing techniques. At its peak, it is estimated that the number of Qigong practitioners reached up to 200 million worldwide.

American ambivalence

As a nation built largely by settlers seeking refuge from religious persecution in their native countries, the United States historically has been a landmark for religious freedom throughout the world. If that’s the case, though, and considering Falun Dafa’s long history coming out of China, why are Americans not more sympathetic to their plight?

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