CHINA’S PROPOSED SECURITY LAW LEADS TO NEW HONG KONG PROTESTS
Protests have erupted again in Hong Kong after Beijing announced a proposed national security bill that could threaten Hong Kong’s sovereignty. The law would allow Beijing to set up intelligence agencies in Hong Kong, with the aim of “tackling secession, subversion, and terrorist activities.” Chinese Secretary for Security John Lee cited an increase in terrorism in Hong Kong as the main reason for proposing the law. Hong Kong endured long-running violent protests last year after Beijing proposed a now-suspended extradition bill that would allow Hong Kongers to be sent to the mainland when accused of specific crimes. This new round of protests saw 180 people arrested on 24 May when police used tear gas and water cannons to control demonstrators. This time around there are increased calls for Hong Kong independence, an option Beijing is not considering. Members of the international community have also voiced their aversion to the legislation, stating concerns over its potential effect on Hong Kong’s role as a major economic hub. Chinese officials argue that the law would only affect a small percentage of Hong Kongers, those deemed to be “troublemakers” and that the international business community has nothing to worry about. Protests are expected to continue throughout the upcoming days, as the Hong Kong legislature has a planned reading of another bill that would criminalise abuse of the Chinese national anthem.
From a Christian perspective, these are deeply significant times for Hong Kong, and as such for the Church in Hong Kong. On 26 May, the Hong Kong Pastoral Network issued a Gospel Declaration 2020, in which they drew a line in the sand, in the face of a very powerful Chinese government. In this declaration, among other things, they clearly state that “Jesus Christ is the One and Only Lord of the Church”, and further in the declaration, it says: “Spirituality and actions are inseparable”, and “The Church is the people of light in times of darkness.” One Hong Kong pastor equated this declaration to that of the Declaration of Barmen in Germany in 1934, where German pastors stood up against the Nazis and their ungodly racial policies. The Hong Kong Church has declared a “Fast for our city” from 28-30 May.
Pray with us for the following:
- For the Lord to work deeply in the hearts of Hong Kong’s leaders as they negotiate with the Chinese government, that they will make godly decisions
- For the Church in Hong Kong to remain steadfast and to continue speaking truth in these historic times
- For believers to be bold and courageous
Image: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu