Church in Hong Kong existing like plants in pavement cracks

Church in Hong Kong like plants in pavement cracks

The Bishop of Hong Kong has likened the existence of the Church in the former British colony to plants growing in pavement cracks.

Bishop Stephen Chow commented in the Sunday Examiner that these plants “are proofs of the amazing power of life that comes from the Creator. How can they grow up in such a tight and awkward environment?

“I can feel that Hong Kong, including our church, is becoming more like an existence within cracks,” Chow said.

“We used to enjoy much space and freedom of expression when we could express our opinions in any way we like.”

Hong Kong’s new national security law came into effect in June 2020, imposing strict punishments for those accused of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign or external forces.

After the arrest of several high-profile pro-democracy activists including Cardinal Joseph Zen, Chow has urged the faithful to refrain from “reactive” instincts. Instead, followers should search for God amid the changing social landscape.

The Cardinal’s arrest in May was connected to his work at the former entity, the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund. The fund used to provide financial assistance to pro-democracy campaigners to help cover their legal costs and medical bills.

Cardinal Zen was released on bail but his arrest sparked an international outcry from governments and human rights groups.

While some have opted to leave Hong Kong, others have stayed, Chow said, saying he made his own choice when he decided to accept his appointment as bishop of the territory.

“I want to share with you that the love and light of God can be found in all things, even cracks,” he said, pointing to the image of flowers, trees, and shrubs that have grown up through cracks.

“They have demonstrated that nothing can prevent life from flourishing, adding colours, beauty and hope to our world,” he said. “The tougher the condition, the more resilient life will be. Cracks can even widen in some cases.”

Amid these circumstances, faith can be “an amazing engine that empowers our lives, individually and collectively, if we positively live out our faith,” he said.

“However, if we only want to stick to the past, not ready to find God’s guidance in the changing context, our lives will become bitter and sour. Darkness will take hold of us.”

Chow insisted that accepting the changing reality and social situation “does not mean endorsing it” but rather finding a way forward by “learning to discern new possibilities with a creative mindset amid tensions from the changing context.”



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News category: Palmerston, World.

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