CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 August 2019

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Hong Kong pastor put on trial in Shenzhen

HONG KONG (UCAN): A pastor from Hong Kong, Reverend Ng Wah, is reported to have been prosecuted on the mainland for printing Christian books and raising money to support the apostolate of his Church.

Constant Kim, a friend and member of the Christian Church of Chinese Ministry that Reverend Ng had set up, said on April 6 that he disappeared in July last year and was arrested on the mainland.

This is being interpreted as another sign of China’s growing desire to exert its control over religion and extend its law enforcement into Hong Kong.

“It is political persecution. Some extreme leftist officials in Guangzhou did this,” Kim said, adding that he had been told of Reverend Ng’s fate by what he called an authoritative source in mainland China.

The Hong Kong Chinese newspaper, the Ming Pao Daily, reported that the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court heard a fraud trial against Reverend Ng involving more than 100 million yuan ($119.6 million) on February 19.

Also standing trial as the first defendant in the same case was Lin Jingying, who organised a House Church, an unofficial community that is not registered with the Chinese government.

In July, the same month friends and family lost contact with the pastor, a colleague, Reverend Phillip Woo, was ordered to come to Shenzhen from Hong Kong where police told him to stop preaching on the mainland side of the border.

Woo was accused of violating China’s religious laws after posting messages on his Hong Kong website inviting Chinese Christians to come to Hong Kong for training.

Woo said that his interaction with the Guangzhou police and Reverend Ng’s disappearance on the mainland show that the religious situation on the mainland has tightened. But he said he did not have any concern over the way Reverend Ng was arrested.

He added that he and Reverend Ng had not worked with the Christian Church of Chinese Ministry for some time.

The Church’s website lists two operations in Hong Kong and a meeting point in Futian, a checkpoint on the mainland China side of the border in Shenzhen.

Its mission includes promoting pastoral care in Hong Kong and the mainland, as well as training personnel to send back to Churches inside China.

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