Hong Kong church reverses course, backs peaceful pro-democracy protests

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Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui House of Bishops Pastoral Letter

18 June 2019

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

May the peace of our Lord be with you.

The last Sunday is the Trinity Sunday. The Holy Spirit reminds us holiness is wholeness. In God, his love can be in many forms but is always wholeness.

In the past two weeks, a series of events taken place in Hong Kong also reminds us that we should learn from the “wholeness of love” in the Holy Trinity.

We are pleased with the innocent heart of most youth, who are willing to stand up for their ideals, to fight for the freedom that they cherish, and to face with courage against external threats; we also admire their determination to keep peace, rationality, mutual assistance and the spirit of doing the undoable. We should be proud of these qualities displayed by them. That is the right spirit that belongs not only to our youth but all Hong Kong citizens.

Meanwhile, we are grieved about the death and injuries caused during the course of events. We are strongly against using violence against violence because it will cause more physical injuries and mental trauma as well as hatred. The church is determined to say “no” to violence. We hope all people, especially Christians, would involve in social movements and in maintaining law and order on the basis of love and peace that can only be learned by giving up the anger, resentment, exclusion, and self-righteousness in our heart. All these hidden negative energies can distort the noblest human ideals into the dirtiest hatred.

The whole incident was caused by the government’s ignoring of the real worries and fears among the citizens. It did not pick up the voice of the citizens on time because it focused solely on amendments to the legislation. Such narrow focusing results in the absoluteness of the necessity of the amendments, which leads to stubbornness, partiality and bias.

Hong Kong, our home, has been deeply divided. How it can be mended? We believe that it could be done only through the love of the Trinitarian God who is holy and wholesome. This is also the foundation of Christian actions to bring peace to this home.

The holy love means passion with ideal; calmness with reality; insistence of justice; tenderness in promoting peace; rationality in understanding objective truth; empathy with the dilemma situation of others; courage not to give up; wisdom of impermanence; self-affirmation; and the generosity of accepting and appreciating others so that the views of others (even those views that we might not agree with) can enrich us.

Therefore, we have no choice but to love all, be they the youth, students, the police, government officials, legislators of different political parties, and even the Chief Executive, because “there is no fear in love” (1 John 4:18).

Hong Kong is our home and is treasured by our Trinitarian God. We hope all citizens would heal each other the wound inflicted by the division and would lay down our differences to reconcile and to rebuild our home.

When she sworn in as the Chief Executive, Ms Carrie Lam, said she would look for more opportunities to contact citizens and to listen to them. We hope that after this incident, apart from apologizing to the citizens, the Chief Executive would, as she promised, serve the citizens and build Hong Kong with honesty, humbleness, willingness to accept criticism and to improve.

Let us humbly beseech our Lord and to hope all Hong Kong citizens and the civil servants would step up communication and to mutually help each other in an honest way for the common goal of building a good, harmonious, prosperous, just, and loving Hong Kong, which offers hope and opportunities to the next generation.

Archbishop Paul Kwong  Bishop Andrew Chan  Bishop Timothy Kwok