HONGKONG - Several hundred Catholics took part in the mass demonstration on Sunday August 18, held in Victoria Park, alongside more than 1.7 million people. Another demonstration, organized by the Civilian Front for Human Rights, is also scheduled for Saturday, August 31. Before the demonstration on August 18, the faithful took part in a time of prayer organized by the Justice and Peace Office of Hong Kong, on the theme "Hope in the desert". During the celebration, after a few hymns and Bible readings, Fr. Carlos Cheung, a Salesian from Hong Kong, spoke about the current crisis in Hong Kong.

As we are reminded of today's readings, God is always with us, and we walk to the promised land by embracing the hope bestowed by God: "You have seen it also in the wilderness: the Lord your God has given you worn, like a man carries his son, all along the road you have traveled until you arrive in this place "(Deut 1, 29-31). Whatever the difficulties, we do not give up easily. We must remember that during this campaign, we are not looking for short term wins. This is a long-term fight. Even if the government ignores our demands for the moment, we must continue unabated in our parish, in our community, among our friends and family members. Here, each of us is responsible and responsible for awakening the people around us. We have been exposed to unrelenting violence for more than two months. Protesters were violently treated and arrested. As early as June, police repressed people with excessive use of force, breaking the security rules and violating international human rights standards. July 21st, the police even allowed random attacks of bandits against citizens. Residents, ordinary citizens and even ordinary passersby were attacked with tear gas and arrested for no good reason. The government helps cover police abuses and spreads false news by misinforming the public. Today, the government goes so far as to defame its opponents and spreads political propaganda. Worse still, the government went so far as to utter shameless lies at a press conference. Do we want to be manipulated by a government that repeats these shameful political blows in the name of justice? Do not we feel anything? Dear brothers and sisters, where is our conscience? Where is our ethical sense? How should the Church provide ethical guidance here? where is our consciousness? Where is our ethical sense? How should the Church provide ethical guidance here?

Peace, wisdom and hope

Today, these are not just questions of different political positions. These are abuses committed by the government, and people wrongfully arrested and prosecuted unfairly. As Christians, can we choose to remain silent when the world needs us to raise our voices? In addition to prayer, we must also tell the government that it is mistaken in insisting on such an approach. The Lord has created us with dignity and freedom. As we read in the Old Testament, Mordechai, Esther's foster father, prayed to the Lord with these words: "Lord, Lord, sovereign King of the universe, everything is subject to your power, no one can to oppose you when you want to save Israel. "What we defend here tirelessly is human dignity, the dignity of being sons and daughters of God! Let us pray with Esther's words: "My Lord, our King, you are the One; come and help me, for I am alone, I have no other help than you, and I will risk my life. "We must stop all the suffering caused by unreasonable actions and the oppression of the authorities. Today, we must protect our young people, protect our Hong Kong, and protect Jesus from unfair trials so that he is not mistreated and wrongly accused once again. On June 4, 1989, young people were massacred in Tiananmen Square. The same thing could still happen in Hong Kong. That's why we have to show restraint. In this campaign against the authorities, as citizens of Hong Kong, we do not see real violence committed by our young people. In comparison, the violence of the police is obvious. Two million people took to the streets to demand the withdrawal of the draft law on extradition, but the central government remained deaf to the calls. If it is the government that ignores our voices, why attack the young? God bless us, bless our young people and Hong Kong. With peace, wisdom and flexibility, awaken the consciences of all. Let's dare to lift ourselves with pride, hope and fear.

(Églises d'Asie - le 20/08/2019, With Asianews)