An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” Matthew 2: 13
Just as the baby Jesus and his parents fled from King Herod’s wrath, millions of refugees and asylum seekers around the world seek security and protection in a foreign land. In this season, we remember those who must flee their homeland because of threats of violence, persecution, and death. Who are the angels who will watch over their perilous journey? Where are the wise men and women who will thwart the evil powers?Read more
Lectionary Selection: Romans 12:9-21
Prayers for Hong Kong:
O Lord, in the face of so much evil in our world, guide us on the noble path in obedience to Your holy commands. When facing overwhelming odds, we remember that You only call us to be faithful. “Success” in the world’s eyes is not guaranteed. We leave the final judgment to You, our just and merciful God. May the Church and the people of Hong Kong be Your faithful witnesses to the truth: Love is stronger than hate, Good is stronger than evil, Hope is stronger than despair. Protect all those on the frontlines in Hong Kong and China fighting for justice, especially the young who have risked so much so that all may live with dignity and freedom. God of grace and glory, grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of these difficult days ahead. In Jesus’ precious name we pray, Amen.
On June 30, two big events happened in Hong Kong. The first was the passing of the National Security Law for Hong Kong.Read more
HKCC Response to the Resolution in Enacting the National Security Legislation for Hong Kong by the National People's Congress
From the Hong Kong Christian Council
Hong Kong has been a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China since its return on 1 July 1997. Under the principles of “one country, two systems,” “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong,” and “high degree of autonomy,” enacting legislation on national security is the duty of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as stipulated in the Basic Law in order to safeguard national security and ensure the stability of the people's lives. However, in the past 23 years, the HKSAR Government was unable to legislate for Article 23 of the Basic Law and now, facing the need for national security, the National People's Congress considered that it is necessary to enact the “National Security Legislation for Hong Kong."
In late December, Hong Kong was becoming aware of reports from mainland China about a dangerous new virus that was rapidly spreading, especially in the Wuhan area. Immediately, this brought back memories of the panic of the 2003 SARS epidemic. Over 1700 people were diagnosed with SARS in Hong Kong and 299 died. That is a death rate of 17%.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 2:13-23
Prayers for Hong Kong:
Dear Lord, we remember today all those who must flee their homeland because of threats of violence, persecution, and death. Just as the baby Jesus and his parents fled from King Herod’s wrath, millions of refugees and asylum seekers around the world are seeking security and protection in a foreign land. Who are the angels who will watch over their perilous journey? Where are the wise men and women who will thwart the evil powers? O, God, we remember the thousands of asylum seekers in Hong Kong from faraway lands in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Though most have little hope of mercy from the Hong Kong government, they live and move and have their being among us. Many come from countries experiencing civil unrest, human rights abuse, military crackdowns, and war for longer than we can imagine. You know their names even if we do not. Give us a heart of compassion and a spirit of justice so they might live in dignity while in Hong Kong. Console all the weeping mothers and fathers whose children are no more. Receive into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.Read more
"Pray for the peace of all Hong Kong people. May God grant a listening heart to the authority and the politicians of Hong Kong." Rev. Dr. Eric So, Hong Kong Christian Council Chairperson
Nov. 20, 2019
As Hong Kong enters its sixth month of anti-government protests, some of the worst violence has taken place in the past few weeks. It started after the death of a young university student who had fallen from one story of a parking garage to another story in the early hours of the morning near a protest area. He underwent surgery, was in a coma, and finally passed away a week later. May he rest in God's eternal peace. We are not sure why he entered the garage after joining the protests where tear gas was used by police. The details of his being found, emergency response, and police action are also not completely clear. His death sparked outrage among protesters who accused the police of murder and cover-up.
Then, in retaliation, protesters started a citywide action to paralyze the transportation networks for three days during rush hour. During one conflict between a policeman and a young university protester, another student was shot in the abdomen.There were videos of it posted right away and it appears the student was unarmed. Details are still pending. The young man was taken to surgery in critical condition with injury to the kidney and liver. The surgery saved his life though he remains in hospital in serious condition. We pray he can make a full recovery. The policeman involved has been "doxxed", meaning his personal details were posted online and his family has received death threats. In another tragic incident, a construction worker got into a confrontation with protesters and was set on fire. He is in critical condition at the hospital with serious burns over his body.
Then there have been huge protests and takeover of university campuses by protesters - Chinese University of Hong Kong last week, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University this week. It was a dangerous situation for staff, students, the public, and police. So much tear gas was fired! Many protesters were arrested, some only high school students. After intense negotiations, minors were allowed to leave with their parents after intervention by university heads and Legislative Council members.
If you ask what churches are doing in response, they are actively engaged. Some Christian ministers (including mine from Kowloon Union Church) went to a memorial service held at the parking garage where students were gathering to remember the young man who died. They prayed with those who were there, trying to bring God's peace and love to the grieving. Churches also opened their doors to anybody, but especially protesters who were in need of rest or trying to escape police. Some had run into a Catholic Church, but the police entered anyway and arrested a few young people. Kowloon Union Church was looking after hundreds of protesters around the clock this past Sunday to Monday as the church is right near where some of the worst clashes were happening on Nathan Road. Even as they do so, Christians still face criticism on both sides - some saying the churches are not doing enough to support protesters on the one hand, and others saying the churches are only encouraging more violence and vandalism by not condemning radical protester actions.
Now, if you think this is all shocking, yes it is. We don't know when the protests and violence will end or how we can resolve this as the conflicts continue. Please pray for Hong Kong that we might find a way out of this painful and chaotic situation to something better for the city and nation in the short and long term.
I still manage to go to work at Hong Kong Christian Council. We still have meetings and events. Businesses are open and transportation networks work most of the time (except when they don't). There was the residue of tear gas in the air as my office is close to Polytechnic University and Nathan Road. Very worrying in terms of health and food safety. Finally, one happy note - my daughter got married on Oct 26th! Thank you for your prayers that all went smoothly on a very happy occasion. This was a big thing to be grateful for, not only for a beautiful day that proceeded without incident but the addition of a wonderful son-in-law. Thank you, Lord.
With love from Hong Kong in this season of Thanksgiving,
Rev. Judy Chan
Executive Secretary for Communications
Hong Kong Christian Council
Global Ministries Mission Co-Worker
Way back in June 2019, Hong Kong never imagined that anti-government protests would still be going on four months later.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 16:1-13
Prayers for Hong Kong:
O God, we know one day each of us must stand before you to give an accounting of our lives. How did we manage the responsibilities you entrusted to us? How did we handle the resources you placed in our hands? What did we give back to you in return for all you have given us? Whether we have little or much, may we be faithful in all things. O Lord, during this time of protest and unrest in Hong Kong, pour out your grace and wisdom on both sides of the political divide. Help everyone to seek the common good, rather than insist on their own way. Open their hearts and minds to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict and a just outcome for the city’s seven million residents. In the midst of the anger, fear, and exhaustion, show us the way forward. For truly, we cannot serve two masters. Only you God are worthy of our total devotion. Only you God can provide eternal answers for our earthly troubles. May we put our trust and hope in you alone as we serve all your people in the name of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.Read more