You may have been reading in the news about the protests in Hong Kong. It's about the proposed legislation to allow the Hong Kong government to send persons charged with certain crimes to be sent to mainland China for prosecution. The situation arose over a Hong Kong citizen who is accused of murdering his girlfriend while in Taiwan. He came back to Hong Kong and there is no method to have him extradited to Taiwan as there is no agreement between the two places to do so. This gave the HK government impetus to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance to allow extradition even to other countries that don't have an agreement in place. Taiwan actually did not request this as a solution to the problem and is not in support of the amendment.
For Hong Kongers, of course this raises great concerns about human rights and a fair trial. The legal system in Hong Kong is based on the British system and at least until 2047, we thought we had guarantee that it would not change. Thus the possibility that someone in Hong Kong could be sent to China for prosecution is alarming, from what we know of the Chinese legal system.
Thus, many citizens and sectors of society have come out in opposition, besides the young people - lawyers, social workers, teachers and businesses. Many feel that passing this law as quickly as the government hopes will only bring international condemnation as well as lead to devastating consequences for the city. In the appeal below from Hong Kong Christian Council, we propose that the government suspend the amendment and allow further discussion and dialogue between different parties.
Please pray for Hong Kong in this critical moment that the situation will not escalate to violence between protesters and police, that the government give some cooling off period, and that the church can stand strong to serve the community and the nation in the peace of Christ.
With hope in God,
Rev. Judy Chan
Executive Secretary for Communications
Hong Kong Christian Council
Global Ministries Mission Co-Worker
Photo: June 9 protest in Hong Kong, by Bruce VanVoorhis
Watching Over Hong Kong from Global Ministries Mission Coworker Judy Chan in Hong Kong
Urgent Appeal regarding the Ongoing Clashes Between the Police and Members of the Public
Publish Date: 2019/07/19 The mass protests against the proposed amendment to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance have resulted in clashes and violence between the Police and members of the public, and the situation is deteriorating. The people of Hong Kong are deeply worried and distressed. Hereby we issue the following urgent appeal:
1. We urge the Chief Executive to respond as soon as possible to the strong demands of the public to withdraw the Bill of the proposed amendment to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance.
2. We urge the Government to set up an independent commission of inquiry as soon as possible to find out the truth in an impartial manner.
3. All parties must exercise restraint and avoid provocation. Regardless of one’s political stance, one should treasure life and refrain from doing anything that might harm oneself or others.
4. We urge the government to take the initiative to confer with the representatives of different factions to seek a solution to the current impasse.
Rev. Dr. Eric So Shing-yit, Chairperson, Hong Kong Christian Council
Cardinal John Tong, Apostolic Administrator, Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong
An Urgent Appeal from Hong Kong Christian Council
Publish Date: 2019/06/12
The society is full of disputes and disturbance due to the Amendment of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. Today, the demonstrators blocked the roads near the Central Government Offices and Legislative Council and confronted the law enforcement officers. Under such critical situation, and for the benefit of Hong Kong citizens, the Hong Kong Christian Council held an emergency meeting with several representatives of various denominations and church bodies to share and discuss together. We then issued the following urgent appeal:
- We request a prompt appointment with Mrs. Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive, and Hon. Andrew LEUNG Kwan-yuen, Chairperson of the Legislative Council. We hope that they may meet with representatives of the Protestant Church and Catholic Church and, before the situation is out of our control, hear the voices and concerns of the clergy and the appeals we collected from the people.
- The Government should consider carefully that, if the Amendment of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance is passed, it would worsen the splits in the society for a long time and eventually will trigger a new round of conflict. Thus we hope that the SAR Government can suspend the amendment and give the society more time in order that the tension can be resolved with rational discussion.
- We appeal to all clergy in the demonstration area to pay attention to changes in the situation and to show concern with pastoral care for the demonstrators. They should also try to stop any violence that is happening and to protect the safety of all participants as well as themselves.
Rev. Dr. Eric S.Y. So
Chairperson of Hong Kong Christian Council
Please join Global Ministries in praying for Hong Kong. Here is a prayer request from Rev. Dr. Eric So, the HKCC Chairperson:
"Pray for the peace of all Hong Kong people. May God grant a listening heart to the authority and the politicians of Hong Kong."