Falun Gong i religionshistorisk kontext
Qigong was initiated by the Chinese government in the 1950´s as a domestic medical tradition to be included within a modern scientific framework. During the first decades it became popular among the élite. During the 70´s and 80´s scientific confirmation of the existence of qi contributed to its immense popularity among the population. Charismatic leaders with a traditional background were leading their groups in parks and the movement was booming. In 1992 Falun Gong was established by Li Hongzhi as qigong taken to a higher level. Its popularity increased and Li was associated with buddha as well as the daoist messiah Li Hong. After manifestations and demonstrations Falun Gong was banned in China as a religious sect, potentially threatening to society. This reaction of the Chinese government as well as the popularity of the movement can be understood within its context of Chinese history of religion as a particular strand of traditional religion and folk sectarianism, often referred to as White Lotus, influenced by ancient Chinese traditions and Daoism as well as Buddhism and Manichaeism.