Mere Anglicanism

Anglican leaders aloof from Hong Kong protests

Anglican leaders have taken a neutral stance in the street demonstrations shaking Hong Kong. While the city’s churches have been opened to demonstrators for food and shelter, the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui has urged its members to obey the law.  Christians have played a prominent role in the protests that has seen tens of thousands pour into the city’s streets in support for democracy. About 480,000 Protestants and 363,000 Catholics live in Hong Kong, a city of about 7.2 million, according to 2013 census figures. At least three of the founders of the main protest groups are Christians, including the 17-year-old leader of a student group and two of the three heads of Occupy Central. One of the group’s founders is a Baptist minister and the city’s former Catholic bishop Cardinal Joseph Zen has lent his support to the protesters. However the official leaders of the Anglican and Catholic Churches have kept out of the fray. Cardinal John Tong, issued a brief statement last week urging the government to exercise “restraint in deployment of force” and telling protesters to be “calm” in voicing their grievances. The Provincial Secretary of the HKSKH, the Rev. Peter Koon Ho-ming stated the diocesan board of education would not allow the 30,000 students attending its 32 schools to stage boycotts, distribute materials on campus or wear yellow ribbons in support of the protests.

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