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
This prayer of commitment is being used in 72 Protestant and Catholic churches all over Hong Kong on the evening of 6 September 2019. The theme of the event is "Pray for Hong Kong: Reconciliation, Healing, and A Way Out." You are welcome to join us in prayer for Hong Kong at this critical time in its history. Thank you and God bless.
Hong Kong Christian CouncilRead more
New conflicts are happening daily in Hong Kong in mass protests against the Hong Kong government. What triggered the last four weeks of mind-boggling events was the government’s unwise proposal to allow Hong Kong residents charged with certain crimes to be extradited to other jurisdictions, even where there was no formal agreement between the two places.Read more
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Thank you for your continuous support and concern for Hong Kong, which has given us comfort and strength. We treasure this ecumenical fellowship of faith. We share the following to keep you informed and ask for your continued prayers.Read more
Do you recall some big protests in Hong Kong at the end of 2014? That was the heady time of the “Occupy Movement” and “Umbrella Movement”. Tens of thousands of citizens, especially young people, took to the streets in a mass sit-in to fight for universal suffrage and democracy. The 79-day event seems long over and forgotten.Read more
Whenever visitors come to Hong Kong, they are amazed at the density of high-rise buildings that house the city’s population of 7.3 million residents. Some towers go as high as 60 floors. This skyscraper phenomenon is due to Hong Kong’s geographical profile. Much of the city’s 425 square miles is hilly terrain, which is not suitable for construction. 40% is zoned for country parks and nature reserves. Thus, less than 25% of the land is developed for commercial and residential use.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 6:17-26
Prayers for Hong Kong:
O God, You are the Great Physician, the healer of body, mind and soul. Continue to pour out your healing grace upon the sick and suffering so they may find relief from pain, recovery from illness, and peace in their hearts. We especially remember the urgent medical needs of Hong Kong’s people and hospitals. We are grateful for the high level of care in the public health system, but there are simply too many patients and not enough doctors, nurses or facilities. Resources are sometimes stretched to the breaking point. May the Hong Kong government and medical community handle this critical problem with wisdom and resolve. May those serving and ministering in the medical sector be given strength to cope with the day’s demands. Just as Jesus must have been overwhelmed at times by the great crowds, may we draw upon divine compassion and power to transform broken lives through Your healing touch. Amen.Read more