Mere Anglicanism

Hong Kong archbishop denies govt crackdown on religion underway in China

The Archbishop of Hong Kong has defended his 2014 comments likening pro-democracy activists to spoiled children

The Archbishop of Hong Kong has defended his 2014 comments likening pro-democracy activists to spoiled children. In an interview published last month in the South China Morning Post, the Most Rev. Paul Kwong said he had no regrets for comments made in a July 2014 sermon questioning why Hong Kong citizens were quick to “speak up so much.” The archbishop mused that perhaps the protesters of the Occupy Hong Kong movement who complained of being denied water while in police custody should that thought to “bring along their Filipino maids” to cater to their needs. The archbishop later apologized for the tenor of his remarks, but told the Post “remarks that please the ears were regarded as dicta, while those that were displeasing were taken as being misspoken.” He added: “I love our young people, and it saddened me when they did not think about the consequences of their actions.” What was “most important” was having “loving and caring heart for all, regardless of political view and age”. But “love comes with rebuke as well.” The archbishop denied claims his comments were motivated by his appointment by the government to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. He told the Post he had defended the rights of Christians at the February session of the CPPCC in Beijing, by criticizing the government campaign to remove church crosses in Zhejiang province. The archbishop defended the government in Beijing saying the mainland authorities were not cracking down on religion. “The message I got was that Beijing’s policy on religious freedom has not changed, but there were problems with implementation at the regional level,” the archbishop said.

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