Skip links

Hong Kong Activist: Proposed Law Could Worsen Religious Liberty, Persecute Catholics

A religious-freedom advocate from Hong Kong is warning that proposed legislation could further restrict religious liberty and lead to the persecution of the Catholic Church and other Christians.

Frances Hui, a Hong Kong native who has political asylum in the United States, expressed concern about the possible enactment of the controversial proposal Article 23, which would expand a 2020 national security law. She made these comments during a Hudson Institute panel discussion on “The Repression of Hong Kong and Heroism of Jimmy Lai.”

Lai, a pro-democracy journalist and convert to Catholicism, was arrested on several charges under Hong Kong’s 2020 national security law and could face life in prison. His newspaper, Apple Daily, frequently published material critical of the Chinese Communist Party. Although the Chinese government charged him with colluding with foreign forces, critics of the prosecution claim that he — and hundreds of other political and religious dissidents — were arrested for their activism.

If enacted, Article 23 would expand the law to bolster the government’s crackdown on political dissidents, which has been ongoing for more than three and a half years.

The change would add new offenses, including a prohibition on external interference in Hong Kong, a prohibition on supporting external intelligence organizations, and a prohibition on electronic and computer activities without lawful authority that endangers national security, along with a prohibition on general sabotage activities, according to the Hong Kong Free Press.

Hui, who serves as the policy and advocacy coordinator at the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation, said during the panel that the legislation would “target foreign organizations [and] their activities in Hong Kong,” which could be used against foreign Christian missionaries and Hong Kong Catholic Church communications with the Vatican.

“A lot of the small- to medium-scale church groups, the Catholic Church, and foreign missionaries would all be affected,” Hui said.

Read more at National Catholic Register 

Share with Friends: