|The participants of the human rights workshop in Solo visited a mosque and a church founded by two brothers, one a Muslim and one a Christian, that stand next to each other—an uncommon sight in Indonesia.|
Prayers for Hong Kong:
We celebrate Jesus’ resurrection this Easter Sunday, and the triumph of life over death, of justice over injustice, of peace over violence.
We know though, that the Easter sunshine in our hearts is only possible because of the darkness of Good Friday. Sadly, our lives seem trapped in this darkness, for we continue to witness injustice and violence every day in our world. We continue to search for the Messiah of Might to solve our problems, like the people of ancient Israel, instead of the Messiah of Love. We believe that power is a pyramid instead of a circle, and thus, we are still traveling on the Road to Emmaus and fail to recognize your presence in us and with us.
In Hong Kong, in the midst of our darkness, God, we no longer see homes as places of shelter but as investments, we depend on windy weather to clear our polluted skies but not our actions, we rely on the elderly rummaging through our trash for recycling but not a change in our habits and we debate about a more democratic system that centers on who will have power but not on how that power will serve the common good.
In our determination to stay trapped in the darkness of Good Friday, open our eyes to the light of Easter and the feast that you have prepared for us with the breaking of the bread. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Hong Kong:
Since Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) held its first School of Peace (SOP) in Bangalore, India, in 2006, 88 young people from 16 countries have taken part in this 14-week program to stimulate the thinking and actions of the participants who work in their communities to alleviate conflict, human rights abuses and poverty.
As part of a new initiative to train some of its SOP alumni to be resource people for its programs, a human rights workshop was held in February this year in the Indonesian city of Solo in Central Java—a community that was chosen because of its history of conflict between the city’s Muslim and Christian communities and the efforts of a local imam and pastor to work together to overcome this periodic violence.
Each SOP alumni in this workshop was asked to give a presentation about the teachings of their faith—Buddhism, Islam and Christianity—that relate to human rights. Ebenezer Dharshan, a Christian from Sri Lanka, concluded his presentation with these words:
“This sacredness and equality of the human person and the concern for others in the community as reflected in the laws, prophetic oracles and Jesus’ ministry are two major pillars of the Biblical tradition upon which one can base both political rights—freedom—and social rights—bread. We need to maintain both civil liberty and social justice as inseparable parts of human rights. As we cannot divide spirit and flesh in our body, so freedom and bread are integral to each other. If we lose one, we will distort all. . . . The poor person needs both bread and freedom.”
Prayer and Mission Moment by Bruce Van Voorhis
Mission Partners in Hong Kong:
- Asian Human Rights Commission
- Christian Study Institute in Chinese Culture and Religion
- Chung Chi College Divinity School
- Hong Kong Christian Council
- Hong Kong Christian Institute
- Hong Kong Christian Service
- Hong Kong Christian Women’s Council
- Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China
Video Resources about Hong Kong:
More information on Hong Kong:
Global Ministries Missionary in Hong Kong:
Bruce Van Voorhis, a member of Wellshire Presbyterian Church, Denver, Colorado, serves the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs in Hong Kong. He coordinates the interfaith programs.