CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 16 March 2019

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Documents of Religious Leaders Colloquium go to university

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Colloquium of Six Religious Leaders of Hong Kong donated more than 3,400 documents and images, as well as a time capsule to the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, to help preserve the history of interreligious dialogue in the territory.

The colloquium signed a cooperation agreement with the university department on April 10.

The university will manage the collection and establish an electronic database to be uploaded on a website for public reference.

Among the collection being handed over to the care of the university is a time capsule, which was buried in 2003 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the colloquium.

It contains the minutes of the first meeting of the preparatory committee for the founding of the colloquium in 1978 and a letter written in 1980 by former British colonial governor, Murray MacLehose, calling for moral education.

“Ten years ago, the colloquium buried a time capsule in Hong Kong Park. After 10 years, the cooperation agreement has allowed the Chinese University to become an open time capsule,” Joseph Sung, the vice-chancellor of the university, said at the signing over ceremony, which was attended by about 100 people.

We have “no common and permanent space to keep these historical records, so they might be lost as time passes,” Reverend Chan Kim-kwong, explained, saying that is one of the reasons the documents are being handed over for safe keeping.

Ibrahim Yang, secretary-general of the Chinese Muslim Cultural and Fraternal Association, said the database will help people understand more about different faiths and religious traditions.

“This historical material not only records the development of Hong Kong religion, but is also part of local history,” Lai Chi-tim, the chairperson of the religious department at the university, said.

The colloquium was formed by Buddhist, Catholic, Confucian, Muslim, Protestant and Taoist leaders with the aim of enhancing friendships through regular dialogue and activities to establish a model of social harmony.

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