OtherWorld News

Further decline of religious freedom in Hong Kong

As religious freedom is deteriorating further in Hong Kong amid the proposed securtity law, activists seek international help to stop the decline.

Religious and other freedoms are declining rapidly in Hong Kong as pressure from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) increases. The proposed new security law, known as Article 23, endangers these privileges even further.

Activists are calling for immediate international action in this matter. They say that Article 23

“directly threatens religious freedom, and in particular the confidentiality of the Sacrament of Penance (otherwise known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation or “Confession”).”

According to the new security law, knowing that a person committed “treason” but not reporting it can result in 14 years in prison. Activist groups are alarmed that the provisions in the law

has grave implications for the confidentiality of Confession in the Catholic Church and other Christian traditions.”

In Article 23, against their will, priests could be forced to reveal what was said during confessions. Priests can advise the penitent to report themselves if they have committed a crime, but they cannot do it themselves.

The new security law directly goes against Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It has several vague provisions that can be used for political persecution on the basis of “national security” concerns.

In addition to other things, the law allows faster national security trials, extending police detention without charge and preventing contact between arrestees and lawyers of their choice. Criticizing the PRC and advocating legislative changes are also criminalized under the new law.

The activists are calling for immediate action from the international community to protect the freedoms in Hong Kong.

Source: UCAnews

Leave a reply