Hong Kong protests are related to China religious freedom struggles, says international ministry

by Victor Wilson, |
Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protest, June, 2019. | Studio Incendo/Flickr

Persecution watchdog ministry Release International says the Hong Kong protests are related to religious freedom struggles in mainland China.

"The scenes unfolding on the streets of Hong Kong reflect the desperate cry for freedom in mainland China," Release CEO Paul Robinson said in a statement yesterday.

Hong Kong protests, in the last week alone, have brought the international airport to a halt, and parts of the city have been shutdown with masses rallying against a controversial extradition bill that some fear would undermine Hong Kong's current political system with China by placing Hong Kong under China's jurisdiction instead of under the current, "one country, two systems," structure.

In 2018 the Chinese government introduced a policy, The Regulations for Religious Affairs, which was supposedly meant to help protect religious freedom, but in reality has been used to crackdown even further on both house and state churches, according to Christian Today.

"Freedom of faith is guaranteed under Article 36 of the Chinese constitution," said Robinson. "But in practice, the authorities bulldoze churches, tear down crosses and imprison pastors. Lawyers who speak up for them in the courts simply disappear. And it's getting worse."

Christian Solidarity Worldwide leader Benedict Rogers said he fears a military style crackdown in Hong Kong like the deadly one in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Rogers said, "to resolve the impasse in Hong Kong right now... God forbid, a Tiananmen-style crackdown, which we are already beginning to see in embryo with the police's widespread use of teargas, batons, beatings, shotgun triggers pulled, and Triad gangsters mobilized."

"Let us hope that neither [President] Xi Jinping nor [Hong Kong Chief Executive] Carrie Lam allows for the deployment of the trigger-happy [People's Liberation Army] PLA, which would result in a massacre that would not only slaughter the individuals concerned — hundreds of them — but kill off the hopes of Hong Kong remaining an international financial center and an open city in the region.

"Such a massacre would be the slaughter of Hong Kong itself, it's very raison d'etre, its meaning, soul and being."