World News

Risk of Christian persecution in Hong Kong on Tiananmen anniversary

The 35th anniversary of the Beijing's Tiananmen Square massacre on the 4th of June 1989 marks the acceleration of anti-Christian actions.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom released a new report that confirms the Chinese government is threatening practising Christians. Believers in Hong Kong and beyond China’s national borders are equally being affected. 

According to Release International – a UK-based ministry that supports persecuted Christians worldwide – Christians in China are battling with the worst levels of persecution since the Cultural Revolution. Speech and religious freedom have been affected in Hong Kong, where new security laws could obligate Catholic priests to disclose the secrets of the confessional.

Release International partner Bob Fu expressed his concerns about the new law. He is afraid that if priests are forced to violate the trust of their congregation, “China will go down a very dangerous path towards persecution.”

Article 23, which was passed in March, states that priests could be jailed for up to 14 months if they decline to reveal so-called crimes of treason shared during confession. 

Mr Fu spent years campaigning for religious freedom in China. He said that numerous groups of Christians had fled China, many of them ending up in the UK. He strongly believes that the UK has a moral responsibility to support members of its formal colony: “Hong Kongers are expecting the UK to stand strong for their religious freedom and to speak up for them, and to take all necessary measures to protect those who flee persecution.”

Release International CEO Paul Robinson stated: “The long-running crackdown on mainland China now appears to be extending to Hong Kong. Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all freedoms. Our partners describe the current crackdown on Christians as the harshest since Mao Tse Tung’s Cultural Revolution. Together, we call on the world to wake up and recognise the severity of the persecution in China that is gathering pace. This threat against Christians goes beyond their national borders.”

After 28 years of operating in Hong Kong, Radio Free Asia has also closed its Hong Kong office. The controversial Article 23 is the reason for the closure. The radio station has been an essential source of reliable news and information regarding various events, including the persecution of Christians in the region. 



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