Call for young Catholics to protest in Hong Kong

Call for young Catholics to protest in Hong Kong Medics attempt to remove an injured man as police clash with anti-government protesters at Hong Kong's international airport. Photo: CNS

Amid ongoing civil unrest in Hong Kong, Catholics and other Christians have been urged to take a “major role” in protests against the government, as speculation of imminent military intervention from China continues to grow.

“For this movement, it’s a great chance for the Catholics and [Protestant] Christians to cooperate with each other,” the acting president of the Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students Edwin Chow said.

“It’s a good chance for us to become united. Because I think for most of the Catholics and Christians, we have the same values, the same goal…so that’s why we cooperate, and I think after Christians and Catholics cooperate, our strengths, our power becomes stronger.”

Millions of Hong Kong’s population have taken to the streets demonstrating against the government’s plans to allow extraditions to mainland China. Although the bill has been suspended and the amendment process stopped protests have showed no signs of abating, with many speaking out about excessive use of force by the Hong Kong police, including the use of rubber bullets and tear gas.

While Chow said that Christians, among them Catholics, had a more major role when the protests began— leading the singing of hymns such as ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’ in the streets during the protests, for example— their role has since diminished.

“I think the Christian groups and the Catholic groups should participate more in the protests, to take a more major role, because I think nowadays the protests become more radical, and people get very emotional, I think,” Chow said.

“For the Catholic groups, for the Christian groups, we have the responsibility and we have the power to calm our friends down. Because I think singing hymns, just in the beginning, it creates a peaceful atmosphere, and it has a power to keep everyone very calm. So, I think we can use this when we do this again.”

Demonstrators are calling for the proposal to be definitively withdrawn, and some are demanding politician Carnie Cam’s resignation. Chow said more than 160,000 students, teachers, and alumni signed a petition against the extradition bill.