Although Zhang experienced how Falun Gong benefited his mental and physical health, the government order to eradicate the practice on July 20, 1999 changed everything. His flying license, pilot badge and passport were confiscated by the airline. Since then, none of the pilots who practiced Falun Gong were allowed to fly for Chinese airlines.

Once a pilot for China’s Southern Airlines, Zhang is now a captain for Continental Airlines passenger flights in the United States.

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