Hong Kong (MNN) — Protests continue in Hong Kong this week. Thousands of senior citizens joined in the latest demonstrations. Meanwhile, Hong Kong police called for protection after one activist allegedly bit off part of an officer’s finger.
Those participating in Hong Kong protests want current government officials to step down out, and “an investigation into police tactics,” the Associated Press reports. Demonstrators also want assurance they won’t be punished like those who led the 2014 “Yellow Umbrella” protests.
Last week, Hong Kong Executive Officer Carrie Lam said the controversial extradition law which began the current movement was “dead”, but she stopped short of taking the bill off the table.
Referencing a recent blog written by one of their associates, Asian Access president Joe Handley says the situation provides Hong Kong believers with a unique opportunity. “The Church is well-poised to stand in the middle and help both sides come to the table,” Handley explains. “It’s not trying to advocate for some type of political movement or anything like that. Rather, it’s a spiritual end.”
“The more we can move towards levels of reconciliation, the more we’re embodying who Christ is and pointing to the ultimate reality of His hope.”
What does “reconciliation” mean?
As with most current events, the situation in Hong Kong is full of varied complexities. There are believers on both sides of the issue, Handley confirms. Instead of taking a political position, Asian Access’ associate offers a different perspective.
The anonymous author describes three possible ways Hong Kong’s Church could respond as an agent of reconciliation:
- The Church could be the broker for a resolution between the HK Government and the youth. There is need for dialogue, but neither side trusts the other; here is our opportunity to step into the breach.
- The Church can help Chinese Government understand HK better. China now recognizes the need for new ways to administer HK. Through this, the HK Church may speak to the mistrust and persecution of the Chinese Church by the current Chinese regime.
- In practical ways, the Church can help the HK Government improve housing programs, drive economic opportunities, and reduce social tension through political reforms.
Handley says the Church even has an invitation to participate. “Carrie Lam, the CEO (of Hong Kong), is calling people to the table [and] many of them are believers so they represent the Church,” he explains.
“There is an enormous opportunity for believers to stand in the gap at the highest levels of power in Hong Kong.”
Asian Access accelerates the capacity of leaders like these through a process described here. “We’re about trying to unite the Church, to bring people together, and then build leaders who are Christ-like in their endeavors, peacemakers in society, and who are agents of peace in this world,” Handley says.
How to respond to the Hong Kong protests
Now that you know, would you pray? “We have this enormous opportunity for the Church of Hong Kong to rise to the occasion and be agents of reconciliation and peace,” Handley begins.
“Everything hinges on our love relationship with God, so pray that these leaders would be deeply rooted in Christ.”
Ask God to use the Church to encourage peace and represent grace in this situation. Pray for a peaceful resolution to current tensions, and pray for unity within the Church.
Additionally, “we are launching a business leaders’ session in Hong Kong over the course of this next year,” Handley announces. “We could use your prayers and support as we develop Kingdom leaders to engage these kinds of issues.”
Header image obtained via Wikimedia Commons.