Lectionary Text and Prayers for Hong Kong: Luke 16:1-13
Lord, we lift up to you the pain that now engulfs our community after eight Hong Kong tourists were fatally shot in the Philippines by a policeman who felt he was unfairly dismissed from the force. That tragic day of August 23 in Manila has become for us something akin to September 11 in the United States. In the depths of our sadness, we pray for your compassionate comfort to touch us, especially the families of those who have lost loved ones. As we mourn, guide our hearts from hardening against Filipino migrant workers in our midst, for they are as innocent as those whose lives were suddenly snatched from them. Indeed, let this tragic incident open our eyes, Lord, to the pervasive corruption and impunity that infects the Philippines that lies at the root of this tragedy and which Filipinos encounter every day in their country in some manner. We thus pray that the present political and legal system in the Philippines that serves power and greed will be transformed to respect life and render justice; for when we seek mammon instead of you, Lord, death surely follows. In your Son’s name, we offer our prayer to you. Amen.
- Rolando Mendoza, a former senior officer and highly decorated member of the Philippine National Police (PNP), hijacked a tourist bus in Manila with 25 people onboard on August 23, 2010. Mendoza said he was not given a fair hearing for charges of extortion that led to his dismissal from the PNP and that he hijacked the bus to demand his reinstatement. After about nine hours, Mendoza began shooting the hostages apparently in reaction to the arrest of his brother Gregorio. A police SWAT team surrounded the bus but has been criticized for taking about an hour before killing Mendoza and ending the standoff. In addition to Mendoza, eight Hong Kong tourists were killed, and nine people were wounded. Further details of the incident are available on the Wikipedia web site at <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manila_hostage_crisis>.
- More than 120,000 Filipino domestic helpers work in Hong Kong. Migrant organizations in Hong Kong have reported that some Filipino domestic workers have been fired by their Chinese employers because of this tragic incident in the Philippines.
- Tens of thousands of people marched in Hong Kong on August 29 criticizing the Philippine government for the way it handled the bus hijacking in a rare event organized by members of all political parties in Hong Kong. On the same day, Filipino migrant groups, along with members of local and regional organizations, held a series of activities all day to mourn the victims and to seek answers for the police’s poor handling of the crisis.
- A statement by a Filipino journalist living in Hong Kong describes the differences of living in the Philippines and Hong Kong on the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) web site at <http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2010statements/2799/>.
(Prayer by Bruce Van Voorhis)
Global Ministries International Partners:
- Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs: http://www.asiapacificymca.org/ - Federation of YMCA movements in 27 countries in the Asia and Pacific region, with programs for global citizenship and social responsibility, peace with justice and sustainability for life.
- Asian Human Rights Commission: http://www.ahrchk.net/index.php - An independent, non-governmental body, which seeks to promote greater awareness and realization of human rights in the Asia region, and to mobilize Asian and international public opinion to obtain relief and redress for the victims of human rights violations.
- Christian Study Centre on Chinese Religion and Culture: http://www.csccrc.org -Ecumenical research institute for study of the religions and culture of China, including Hong Kong.
- Chung Chi College Divinity School: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/theology - Ecumenical seminary providing theological education for church leaders and laity. The school is supported by mainline churches and is part of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
- Hong Kong Christian Council: http://www.hkcc.org.hk - Ecumenical body of mainline churches and Christian organizations. It works for a united Christian witness and mission in Hong Kong society.
- Hong Kong Christian Institute: http://www.hkci.org.hk/ - Christian center for education and advocacy on issues of social concern. The organization promotes human rights, democracy and justice in Hong Kong.
- Hong Kong Christian Service: http://www.hkcs.org/index_e.htm - One of HK’s largest social service agencies. It was started by mainline churches and provides Christian Service for “The Healing and Growth of People.”
- Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China: http://www.hkcccc.org (Chinese version only) – Hong Kong church denomination with historic Congregational and Presbyterian roots. The Council has 65 congregations and is the sponsoring body for more than 50 elementary and secondary schools.
- Hong Kong Women Christian Council: http://www.hkwcc.org.hk/en - Organization to fight for social justice and women’s rights, to promote feminist theology and to stand with marginalized communities. ∩╗┐
Global Ministries Missionaries:
- Judy Chan is a Global Ministries missionary serving with the Hong Kong Christian Council in communications. She is in charge of ecumenical radio broadcasting ministry, English publications and ecumenical partnerships in Hong Kong and overseas.
- Bruce Van Voorhis serves as missionary with the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs in Hong Kong. He will work as their Coordinator for Interfaith Programs beginning July 1, 2009.