Hong Kong Christians Say Removal of Extradition Bill is Not Enough

Police and demonstrators clash during a protest in Hong Kong, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. Chinese police said Saturday they released an employee at the British Consulate in Hong Kong as the city’s pro-democracy protesters took to the streets again, this time to call for the removal of “smart lampposts” that raised fears of stepped-up surveillance. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

The withdrawal of an extradition bill that threatened religious freedom in Hong Kong is not enough to satisfy Christians and others amid protests there, a Christian advocate told Baptist Press Wednesday (Sept. 4).

“Their anger lies with the excessive use of police/force, police brutality, and prosecution of protestors or activists in the past few months,” International Christian Concern’s (ICC) Gina Goh told BP.

“These are the direct results of (Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie) Lam’s refusal to withdraw the bill in the first place,” noted Goh, ICC’s regional manager for Southeast Asia.

“Eight lives perished for this cause,” she said, “and the demonstrators want to continue to pursue justice and democracy so their fellows did not die in vain.” Goh referenced suicides since June, which climbed to nine Wednesday, of Hong Kong residents who expressed frustration and anger with current events in Hong Kong.

Lam pledged Wednesday to formally withdraw the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance which would have given China the right to extradite Hong Kong residents to mainland China for prosecution. Lam’s announcement followed her June pledge to suspend the bill, but Christians and others had sought certainty the bill would not be revived.

“While it is a good news that … Lam pledges to formally withdraw the controversial (extradition) law, a bill that has initiated a series of protests and social movement in Hong Kong since early June,” Goh said, “many Hong Kong Christians believe that it is simply not enough.

“Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, a Christian himself, said that Lam’s response is ‘too little and too late now,'” Goh told BP. Wong and others, Goh said, believe Lam should address all five demands of protestors. Lam should stop prosecuting protestors, stop referring to protestors as rioters, conduct an independent inquiry of police brutality and establish free elections, Christians believe.

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Source: Baptist Press