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2014 Lunar New Year message from the Colloquium of Six Religious Leaders of Hong Kong

Spring is here once again, bringing another new cycle of time and seasons. The Colloquium of Leaders of Six Religions in Hong Kong offers its prayers for our Mother Country for her prosperity, affluence, military excellence and wellness of the people, harmony and a thriving economy for Hong Kong.

Calling to mind the adage that spring is the opportune time for drawing up a blueprint for the new year, we take this occasion to express our common concern over various developments in our society, with the hope to solicit concerted efforts from all sectors of the citizenry to work together for better development.

The progressively worsening global climate is threatening human existence on earth, unless imminent and effective measures, from sustained prevention of air-pollution, halting further wastage of valuable resources, responsible use of reserves and guarding our ecosystems among other things are vigorously enforced to reverse the decline.

Furthermore, we must not overlook the vital importance of guarding the purity of the heart and the soul.

The relentless overflow of indiscriminate information accessible on the Internet, made possible by the ever-developing technological advances, necessitates vigilant screening to ward off the harmful impact of undesirable communication.

Religious faith and spirituality provide light and guidance, and will enable all who believe to choose good over evil all their lives if they live what they believe.

We in the religious sector are specially dedicated to fostering human relationships and harmony. All of us begin to learn to love in our home.

Parents are the first models for their children as they grow up and see how their parents live as loving and forgiving spouses who honour their solemn marriage pledges in yielding to and being respectful of each other, as loving and dutiful parents in rearing their children.

As sons and daughters, children must be aware that filial piety is the primal virtue and be mindful of their divine mission to love, to be filial and grateful to their parents for their loving nurturance, as defined by natural law.

It is an indisputable conviction that the future success or failure of a society is hinged on the education being provided presently. Chinese sages from ancient days learned from time-honoured texts that the essence of education is the cultivation of virtue, realised in the course of the passing on of knowledge.

If the education being offered is biased on the teaching of knowledge and ignores the need to adopt a balanced approach, incorporating both the teaching of virtue and technology, there is no hope of building a healthy society.

If unattended to, this biased education may degenerate into an upholding of personal gain and profit as the over-riding criteria, and thus cast society into chaos, threatening its very future.

We should treasure our present principles of democracy and freedom, exercising sensible restraint, and with due reference to the fact that there are always inherent shortcomings as well as strengths in any given situation.

Extreme wild behaviour will not make for the future wellbeing of our society. We sincerely urge that the peace and stability of Hong Kong be treasured, and may we humbly appeal to all to conduct ourselves with discipline and respect, to contribute towards the building up our community.

Leung Tak-wah   Venerable Kwok Kwong   His Eminence John Cardinal Tong Hon

The Hong Kong Taoist Association

The Hong Kong Buddhist Association
The Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong
Tong Yun-kai   Ibrahim Sat Che-sang   Reverend Yuen Tin-yau
The Confucian Academy
The Chinese Muslim Cultural and Fraternal Association
The Hong Kong Christian Council

28 January 2014

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