In Falun Gong forbearance (ren), along with truthfulness (zhen), and benevolence (shan) makes up one of basic characteristics of the universe and forms an essential part of any practitioner's soteriology. In order to gain good karma, a practitioner must learn to forbear the suffering inflicted by others while not shirking from her faith in Falun Gong teachings. Forbearance has become an extremely effective means of resistance by Falun Gong practitioners of the ban imposed by the People's Republic of China authorities. The movement has been successful in representing the ban as a means for true practitioners to advance in their spiritual development. The importance of forbearance within the group's doctrine has also led to a split within Falun Gong, however, by providing a Hong Kong splinter group with the theological tools to challenge the hierarchical structure of the Falun Gong organization and its leadership in New York.