Religious repression in Hong Kong could soon worsen, Christian cleric warns

Religious repression in Hong Kong

A Christian cleric in Hong Kong thinks that the Chinese government’s repression of religious freedom there is about to occur.

At the same time, Hong Kong’s new bishop has underlined the importance of protecting human dignity.

Speaking anonymously during an online discussion, the cleric said the freedom of religious schools is particularly under threat.

The cleric, identified only as Reverend L, told the Hudson Institute’s Nina Shea on February 10 that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) appears to be using ideological tactics, such as education, to chip away at the freedom of religion in Hong Kong.

“In terms of restricting the rights of religious freedom, the CCP is doing it step-by-step,” Reverend L said. He noted that China has imposed severe restrictions on the rights of assembly, the press and speech in Hong Kong in recent years.

“Freedom of religion is the only remaining freedom in Hong Kong at this moment,” he said.

In contrast to mainland China, where religious believers of all stripes are routinely restricted, citizens of Hong Kong have historically enjoyed freedom of religion.

However, religious freedom has been particularly eroded in Hong Kong since 2019, due to the CCP’s efforts to control the populace through an “ideological war”, Reverend L commented.

In his first interview since he was ordained to lead the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, Bishop Stephen Chow Sau-yan underlined the importance of protecting human dignity.

“I find it unacceptable for human dignity to be ignored, trampled upon, or eliminated entirely. God gave us this dignity when he created us in his image and likeness. And therefore it is universal because it comes from the love of God,” Chow said, according to the Italian magazine Mondo e Missione (World and Mission).

The 62-year-old was consecrated as a bishop in Hong Kong’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on December 4.

“I do not live by public opinion. Otherwise, I would not be free to discern God’s will and have inner freedom. Mine is a balancing act, and I find this stimulating,” Chow said.

He explained that he does not see himself as a diplomat because he is a bishop, and that is a distinct role.

“I am not a diplomat; a bishop is not that. Sure, sometimes we have to be diplomatic, but my main concern is discerning God’s will,” he said.


Catholic News Agency

Catholic News Agency

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