The founder of Falun Gong, Li Hongzhi, started to teach the practice across the globe in 1995. He started in Paris after being invited by the ambassador of China to hold a seminar. He then travelled to countries including Sweden, Canada, Australia and Germany from 1995 to 1999. The growth of Falun Gong in the rest of the world was mainly down to Chinese students attending Universities in the West in the 1990’s. Falun Gong clubs started to open across the world and many group activities took place on University property. Across the world, excluding China there are over seventy Falun Gong instructors and Falun Dafaassociations.
Translations of Falun Gong literature started to surface in the 1990’s and this caused Li Hongzhi to get recognition across the West and particularly in America. The major of Toronto warmly welcomed him in 1999 and in the next few months he also got recognition from a variety of cities around the world.
Although some people began practicing Falun Gong overseas in the 90’s, very little was known about it outside of China. That was until the escalating tension between the Communist party and Falun Gong, whichrevealed in news coverage across the world. With such focus on Falun Gong more people began to practice it around the globe. The Falun Gong practitioners outside of China became incredibly important during the Chinese governments campaign to suppress them and helped those within China to survive and resist. Falun Gong practitioners across the world responded to the Chinesegovernments campaign against them by holding regular demonstrations, creating media outlets, created software so that Chinese members could read Falun Gong literature online and also had performing arts clubs.