HONG KONG — The massive public protests in Hong Kong continue to draw worldwide attention, and among those taking part are a number of Hong Kong’s 400,000 Catholics. These Catholics, according to three sources who recently spoke with the Register, view the protests as a fight to secure religious freedom and basic human rights in a region of China that historically has enjoyed more freedom than the rest of the country — ruled for the last 70 years by the anti-religious and often inhumane Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Three of these Catholics protesters, “John,” “Lee” and “Herman,” provided an exclusive look at what is happening on the ground in Hong Kong. Their names and identities have been concealed because of the high risk of arrest by Hong Kong police protesters now face.
Demonstrations began last March as peaceful public gatherings, but now, according to John, Lee and Herman, protesters are responding with increasing violence in opposition to increasingly brutal attempts by authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing to end the demonstrations by force. However, at least one prominent Church official is calling for a return to peaceful means of protesting to avoid further bloodshed and so that protesters can maintain the moral high ground.
People first took to the streets of Hong Kong this past March in opposition to the “Fugitive Offenders Amendment Bill,” introduced in February. By early July, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (a professed Catholic) tabled the bill proposing extradition of Hong Kong’s residents (and Taiwan’s citizens) to mainland China, claiming the bill was “dead” in its application to Hong Kong after the massive protests.
But seeking assurance that Hong Kong’s rights would be protected, demonstrators want the extradition bill replaced with a bill that would affirm a universal right to vote as promised in Hong Kong’s Basic Law, a de facto constitution for the 426-square-mile territory drafted by the Chinese government after Hong Kong was handed over to CCP rule by Great Britain in 1997.
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