CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 22 April 2017

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Prayer and march for peace

HONG KONG (SE): Come together to make peace was the rallying cry at a prayer rally organised by the Justice and Peace Commission together with groups from Christian Churches at the music kiosk in the Victoria Park prior to the January 1 march for World Day of Peace.

Over 70 people prayed for issues they see as disrupting the peace of Hong Kong, including the rule of law, political reform and the retirement protection plan, as well as social harmony.

Father Louis Ha Ke-loon urged people to make peace in a nonviolent way by giving witness to a merciful heart.

Father Ha quoted the message of Pope Francis for the World Day of Peace in which he calls for nonviolence and respect among individuals, societies and nations.

Father Ha said a merciful heart is needed to eliminate violence. He believes Pope Francis knows that his annual message for peace only represents a small voice, but it can remind people not to feel discouraged and maintain their dignity by respecting others and insisting on working for peace in a nonviolent way.

Father Ha said the abuse of power by the government and its self-interest policies often lead to violence by ignoring the value of individual lives. However, he believes the real value of a life is not measured in the physical body alone, but in the dignity of the person.

Pastor Lau Chi-hung shared that we face many uncertainties in the coming year in the policies of the central government towards Hong Kong and the selection of the chief executive.

He urged people to uphold the principles of justice and be willing to face prosecution in defending them.

Lina Chan Lai-na, the executive secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission, said she hopes that Christians in Hong Kong will show more concern over social issues and be proactive in promoting just solutions. She believes faith can empower people to fight for a change in unjust policies in a nonviolent way.

The prayer meeting concluded with a blessing from Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun. Many of those present then joined a rally organised by the Civil Human Rights Front through the streets to the Central Government Offices in Tamar, demanding universal suffrage and the withdrawal of the judicial review against four legislators accused of not taking their oaths of office properly.

It also expressed opposition to Beijing’s interpretation of the Hong Kong law.

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