Today marks 25 years since over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners held a historic appeal in Beijing for the right to freely practice their belief. The appeal was prompted by a period of growing repression and the arrest of 45 Falun Gong practitioners in the city of Tianjin, raising nationwide concerns about believers’ freedoms.

This peaceful exercise of rights ostensibly protected in the Chinese constitution was later rewritten by state media as an attempted “siege” of Zhongnanhai, the central government compound. This narrative was then regurgitated by Western media and scholars. The event was later used to justify the brutal persecution of believers.

On the 25th anniversary of this appeal, as well as in today’s webinar, we dive into what really happened that day and why it matters.

For more on April 25: