Falungong gains foothold in Indonesia

ABC Net/May 19, 2001

Falungong, the spiritual group banned in China as an "evil sect", says it is gaining a foothold in Indonesia.

The chairman of Indonesian Falungong Association, Joko Buntar, says there are one-thousand-500 Falungong practitioners in Indonesia.

He says followers of the group in Indonesia are free to meditate and exercise without government interference.

In China, the Falungong, which claims to have tens of millions of followers, has been the target of a government propaganda campaign.

It was banned in 1999 three months after 10,000 followers surrounded the Chinese leadership's compound in Beijing to protest against the arrests of some its members.

Mr Buntar, an ethnic-Chinese businessman in Jakarta, says the group is "warmly accepted" in Indonesia and has followers from every level of society.

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