WelCom July 2019:
The Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong has called for the government and public to exercise restraint and seek a peaceful resolution to a controversial bill that if passed into law would allow Hong Kong citizens’ extradition to mainland China.
The bill has resulted in massive protests. Church leaders are supporting the protests, which are calling for the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill and the resignation of the Chinese territory’s leader.
Although Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie announced on June 15 she had suspended the proposed extradition law in the formerly British, now Chinese territory, an estimated two million people turned out to protest on June 16 – double the numbers at the march on June 9.
After the rally, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing of Hong Kong participated in an ecumenical prayer meeting outside the Legislative Council building with thousands of young Christians. He pledged to remain with those opposing a controversial extradition bill and calling for the resignation of the Chinese territory’s leader. Archbishop Ha reminded the faithful the protesters were Christians first. ‘Even though the government did many things we don’t like and were very wrong, we cannot demonise them, because this is not our faith request,’ he said. ‘All we want is to have the freedom to which everyone is entitled and no longer live in fear.’
The Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students, the Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong, Diocesan Youth Commission of Hong Kong and the Justice and Peace Group of the Franciscans organised a Mass and the prayer meeting.
About 11 percent of Hong Kong’s residents are Christian, including 390,000 Catholics, representing about five per cent of the population.
Vatican News, NCR