WelCom July 2020:
A Hong Kong cardinal told Catholic News Agency changes to Hong Kong’s status in China could threaten the religious freedom of Catholics and other religious believers.
The legislature of China on May 28 approved a resolution to impose new ‘security laws’ on its formerly autonomous region, Hong Kong – a move pro-democracy protesters and Catholics in the country fear will undermine Hong Kongers’ freedoms, including freedom of religion.
The new laws aim to criminalise anything Beijing considers ‘foreign interference’, secessionist activities, or subversion of state power, the Washington Post reports. The laws also could allow Chinese security forces to operate in the city.
Cardinal Joseph Zen, Bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, told CNA he worries the new laws will be used to subvert the freedom of religion that Hong Kongers currently enjoy.
Hong Kong has had broad protections for the freedom of worship and for evangelisation, while in mainland China, there is a long history of persecution for Christians who run afoul of the government.
Most needed at the moment is prayer. Cardinal Zen said. ‘We have nothing good to hope for. Hong Kong is simply completely under [China’s] control. We depend on China even for our food and water. But we put ourselves in the hands of God.’