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Political and Religious Commentary => Politics => Topic started by: patrick jane on June 15, 2019, 02:03:35 pm

Title: Hong Kong 2019
Post by: patrick jane on June 15, 2019, 02:03:35 pm
China blames US for massive Hong Kong protest



Chinese state media is blaming the US for helping organize massive protests in Hong Kong. According to organizers, more than a million people took to the streets  to protest a new law which could allow Hong Kongers to be extradited to China on a range of offenses. Critics say the move would make anyone in Hong Kong vulnerable to being grabbed by the Chinese authorities for political reasons or inadvertent business offenses and undermine the city's semi-autonomous legal system.
Though police put the protest size at closer to 250,000, there's little doubt that the march was among the largest since 2003, when 500,000 people protested against a sedition law -- and successfully blocked it. CNN's Matt Rivers reports.




10 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz1TZej_uGY









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Title: Re: Current Events
Post by: patrick jane on June 20, 2019, 07:53:06 pm
(https://i.pinimg.com/564x/95/97/c1/9597c1733d5a252a8994f93aef3206a7.jpg)
Title: Re: Current Events
Post by: Bladerunner on June 22, 2019, 08:03:25 pm
(https://i.pinimg.com/564x/95/97/c1/9597c1733d5a252a8994f93aef3206a7.jpg)

Hatred for His is just the beginning, I fear.

Blade
Title: Re: Current Events
Post by: patrick jane on June 23, 2019, 12:14:58 am
(https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/images/human-trafficking-blue.png)
Pasco County Sheriff's Corporal Alan Wilkett uses his laptop from his service vehicle.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/human-trafficking-in-america-among-worst-in-world-report






Human trafficking in America among worst in world: report




The United States is again ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking. According to a recently released report by the State Department, the top three nations of origin for victims of human trafficking in 2018 were the United States, Mexico and the Philippines.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered the Trafficking in Persons report, which is created annually by the State Department to document human trafficking in the year prior, and highlighted the growing focus that government agencies and nonprofit organizations have dedicated to stopping human trafficking. The Department of Justice provided more than $31 million for 45 victim service providers that offered services to trafficking survivors across the country. It was a demonstrable increase; the DOJ only provided $16 million to 18 organizations in 2017, according to the report.

At the heart of the human trafficking trade in America is simple economics: Supply and demand.

Over the last two months, Fox News has investigated human trafficking. We followed the enforcement efforts of FBI agents and police officers, documented the ways advocacy groups protect and serve survivors, and heard heart-wrenching stories of abuse, rape and recovery from numerous victims.

"The United States is the number one consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society."

— Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking
If there’s one takeaway from our reporting, it’s that the industry is fueled by an unceasing demand. It’s here that officers focus their enforcement actions. And it's where advocates focus their education efforts to end the illicit trade.

“We have a major issue here in the United States” Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT), said in an interview with Fox News. “The United States is the No. 1 consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society.”

In 2018, the DOJ began 230 federal human trafficking prosecutions, a drop from 282 in 2017. Federal convictions rose from 499 in 2017 to 426 in 2018. More than 70 percent of the cases resulted in jail sentences of more than five years, according to the State Department report.

"These are American kids, American born, 50% to 60% of them coming out of the foster care industry."

— Geoff Rogers
“We're also driving the demand with our own people, with our own kids,” Rogers said. “So there are tremendous numbers of kids, a multitude of kids that are being sold as sex slaves today in America. These are American kids, American-born, 50 percent to 60 perform of them coming out of the foster care industry.”

This assertion is confirmed by the State Department’s report, which found that children in foster care, homeless youth, undocumented immigrant children and those with substance abuse problems especially at risk to fall into the human trafficking trap.

Rogers says that because the demand is so great in the U.S., traffickers are filling that demand with an increased supply of forced sex workers.

“So the demand here in the United States is a global one,” he said. “We do have men traveling the globe to go to places like Thailand and other places in East Asia to purchase sex with kids. But, in fact, the demand is so great that the supply has needed to be filled here in the United States.”

“Because of the demand, then these traffickers are filling that demand with supply. And the demand is so great here in the United States that they're filling the supply with our very own kids,” Rogers continued.

According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report, over 300,000 of America’s young population is considered at risk for sexual exploitation. It’s also estimated that 199,000 incidents occur within the U.S. each year.

Corporal Alan Wilkett, of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, operates their local Human Trafficking Task Force. He believes the best way to combat the trade is to quell the demand.

“Historically, we've allowed the sex buyer to hide behind a mask of anonymity and actually call them a ‘John,’” He said in an interview with Fox News. “We don't even call them by their name, because we let them stay behind that mask. And the only way we're going to attack the supply side is by going after the demand. And that means the sex buyer needs to be held culpable for the damage and trauma that he or she is causing.”

"Trafficking in America, if you are trafficked in the United States, 85 percent of victims that are trafficked here are from here."

— Brook Bello, founder of More Too Life
While Wilkett and other law enforcement officers focus on arrests and sting operations, leaders in the nonprofit realm take a more holistic approach to healing survivors. Brook Bello, the founder of anti-trafficking organization More Too Life in Florida, focuses on helping develop skills to lead a successful post-trafficking life.

“We work with victims that are 3 years old and up,” Bello said. “The average victim that we work with, that’s over 18, started being raped at three. Trafficking in America, if you are trafficked in the United States, 85 percent of victims that are trafficked here are from here.”

The State Department’s report similarly echoes the domestic nature of sex trafficking in the United States. Despite the growing focus and concern surrounding human trafficking, gaps exist that leave victims and survivors without the care and resources they need to build a life beyond the abuse.

“Advocates reported a significant lack of services available for men, boys, and LGBTI individuals and noted continued concern that some federal funding opportunities no longer highlight the need for services for LGBTI individuals,” the State Department said in its Trafficking in Persons report. “NGOs and survivor advocates continued to report insufficient access to emergency shelter, transitional housing, and long-term housing options for trafficking victims.”

Progress has been made on this front, but too often too many kids can’t fight their way out of the clutches of their traffickers. In cities across the nation, and along the highways that connect them, police and advocates continue their fight to eradicate human trafficking and heal those who survived.




This is the last article of a six part Fox News investigation into human trafficking in America. You can see the previous five television segments and articles here, One, Two, Three, Four, and Five.

If you are being trafficked or suspect that someone you know is being trafficked contact The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or CYBERTIPLINE.ORG.
Title: Re: Current Events
Post by: patrick jane on June 29, 2019, 11:41:54 pm
(https://amp.businessinsider.com/images/5bcf6508d2e64841927c6527-750-375.jpg)





Eric Trump blasts Dems' giveaways to illegal immigrants, talks about spitting attack


https://www.foxnews.com/politics/eric-trump-blasts-giveaways-to-illegal-immigrants-talks-about-spitting-attack


Eric Trump says "it's a joke" that Democrats want to give free health care and other benefits to illegal immigrants and predicted the platform will "backfire" on the 2020 presidential candidates.

The son of President Trump made the remarks Saturday during an appearance on Fox News' "Justice with Judge Jeanine."

"When they're talking about giving illegal immigrants, people who came to this country illegally, paying for everything for everybody, not having any real proposals on how it's actually going to get paid for, how it's going to get funded, they're not taking care of the citizens of their own country," Trump told host Jeanine Pirro.

"When they're talking about ... paying for everything for everybody, ... they're not taking care of the citizens of their own country."

— Eric Trump
ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS SHOULD GET HEALTH CARE, SAY DEMS IN NIGHT 2 DEBATE

"That's a real problem and I think it's going to backfire on them," he added.

Trump's comments came in response to the first Democratic debates that took place Wednesday and Thursday nights in Miami, where numerous candidates said they would provide health care benefits to illegal immigrants as well as all American citizens if elected president in 2020.

Each debate featured a different group of 10 candidates. On Thursday, all 10 candidates pledged they would give health care benefits to illegal immigrants.

"This is not about a handout," Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., insisted. "This is an insurance program. We do ourselves no favors by having 11 million undocumented people in our country be unable to access health care.

“The real problem is we shouldn't have 11 million undocumented people with no pathway to citizenship," he continued. "It makes no sense. The American people agree on what to do. This is a crazy thing. If leadership consists of forming a consensus around a divisive issue, this White House divided us around a consensus issue. The American people want a pathway to citizenship and protections for Dreamers."

But on Saturday, Eric Trump told Judge Jeanine that American citizens were justified in putting their own needs ahead of those of migrants.

"The reality is you have people in this country that need help," Trump said. "You also have health care costs in this country which have gone up because ObamaCare is absolutely a disaster.

"The reality is you have people in this country that need help. You also have health care costs in this country which have gone up because ObamaCare is absolutely a disaster."

— Eric Trump
SPIT ATTACK ON ERIC TRUMP 'REPUGNANT,' CHICAGO'S DEM MAYOR SAYS IN CALL FOR CIVILITY

"You can take that money, you can allocate it in a different way, but for them to come out and say, 'Listen, we're going to give this free to this person, we're going to give this free, we're going to let everybody get driver's licenses ...

"Bill de Blasio in this state alone," Trump continued, referring to the New York City mayor who is also a presidential candidate, "wants to have every person have -- every illegal immigrant [to] have -- a driver's license. Do they now get to vote?"

Trump said Democrats are "pandering" to different demographic groups and bashed Beto O'Rourke, the former congressman from Texas, for speaking in Spanish in his opening remarks at Wednesday's debate.

The president's son -- who serves as an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, also spoke about an incident Tuesday where a waitress at a Chicago restaurant where he was dining allegedly spat on him.


Trump condemned the woman's actions as "a heinous act" but said, "I don't think it's reflective of parties."

He said he decided not to press charges despite the support of the city's mayor to do so, and said instead he opted to take "the high road."






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Title: Re: Current Events
Post by: patrick jane on July 02, 2019, 08:57:23 am
China says Hong Kong protesters' storming of government building 'totally intolerable'
https://www.foxnews.com/world/china-hong-kong-protesters-building-totally-intolerable



China has issued a scathing condemnation of protesters who stormed the Hong Kong’s legislature on Monday, saying the acts “trample on the rule of law” and are “totally intolerable.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing condemned the protesters who broke through the glass and steel barriers and entered the building where they then vandalized it.

He said the Chinese government supports Hong Kong’s government and its police force in dealing with the incident in accordance with law.

“The violent attacks ... are serious illegal acts that trample on the rule of law and endanger social order. We strongly condemn it,” Geng said.

(https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2019/07/1862/1048/HKjuly3.jpg?ve=1&tl=1)
Protesters in Hong Kong pushed barriers and dumpsters into the streets early Monday morning in an apparent bid to block access to a symbolically important ceremony marking the anniversary of the return of the former British colony to China. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)


HONG KONG DEMONSTRATORS STORM GOVERNMENT BUILDING, POLICE FIRE TEAR GAS TO DISPERSE PROTESTERS

A group of protesters smashed a window and stormed Hong Kong's legislative building amid another round of mass demonstrations in the city, where a commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of the orderly return to Chinese rule was replaced by tumultuous scenes of civil disobedience, destruction and the deployment of tear gas.

The crowd, comprised of mostly young protesters, could be seen on video using a cargo cart and large poles as battering rams against the glass panel of the legislative building. The demonstrators then tore down part of a glass and metal wall of the government building, carrying away the long strips of metal framework.

(https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2019/07/1862/1048/protestshongkong2.jpg?ve=1&tl=1)
Protesters gather outside the Legislative Council as they stage a rally in Hong Kong, Monday, July 1, 2019. (AP)


The Chinese government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, meanwhile, issued a statement through the state-run Xinhua news agency, slamming the protesters as well, the Guardian reported.

The office said it was “shocked, indignant and strongly condemned” the siege of the government building that came following the massive protests over a controversial extradition bill concerning China.

“Some extreme elements used excessive violence to storm the legislature building and carried out a series of large-scale assaults. This is shocking, heart-breaking and angering,” the statement said.

“Their violent acts are an extreme challenge to Hong Kong’s rule of law and seriously undermined Hong Kong’s peace and stability. It is totally intolerable.”

“Their violent acts are an extreme challenge to Hong Kong’s rule of law and seriously undermined Hong Kong’s peace and stability. It is totally intolerable.”

—  Chinese government’s Hong Kong liaison office
HONG KONG LEADER IGNORES PROTESTERS' DEADLINE TO PULL CONTROVERSIAL EXTRADITION BILL

Hong Kong demonstrators are opposed to a government attempt to change extradition laws that would allow suspects to be sent to China to face trial. The proposed legislation, on which debate has been suspended indefinitely, increased fears of eroding freedoms in the territory, which Britain returned to China on July 1, 1997.

Protesters want the bills formally withdrawn and Hong Kong's embattled leader, Carrie Lam, to resign. She remains so far defiant to such calls and said she will remain in the position.

The Chinese government also reiterated that no foreign nation should comment or intervene in protest actions in Hong Kong, saying the issue were solely Chinese affair and other countries “must not support any violent criminals in any form, and not send any misleading signals or take any erroneous actions.”

(https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2019/07/1862/1048/protesthongkong4.jpg?ve=1&tl=1)
Protesters raise a banner reads "Beyond redemption, no retreat" in front of a defaced Hong Kong logo after break in at the Legislative Chamber to protest against the extradition bill in Hong Kong, Monday, July 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)


President Trump reportedly brought up the issue of Hong Kong during his G-20 meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping last week.

“I’ve rarely seen a protest like that, it’s very sad to see,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, adding that he hoped the matter “gets solved.”

Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s foreign secretary, commented on the issue on Monday, saying authorities in Hong Kong must not use an outbreak of vandalism during protests as a “pretext for repression.”


While condemning “violence on all sides”, he said the authorities need to “understand the root causes of what happened, which is a deep-seated concern by people in Hong Kong that their basic freedoms are under attack.”

Britain is the former colonial power in Hong Kong, which returned to China back in 1997 on the condition that the city will have autonomy under the “one country, two systems” rule.



Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Title: Re: Current Events
Post by: patrick jane on July 14, 2019, 10:56:58 am
HONG KONG PROTEST INSIDE NEW TOWN PLAZA SHATIN


3 minutes - Happening NOW
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF-v-etsQao





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Title: Re: Current Events
Post by: Bladerunner on July 14, 2019, 08:50:28 pm
HONG KONG PROTEST INSIDE NEW TOWN PLAZA SHATIN


3 minutes - Happening NOW
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF-v-etsQao





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PJ, your formatting or size resolution is way off. sometimes they are two screens wide and sometime the are the exact fit.

Blade
Title: Re: Current Events
Post by: patrick jane on July 22, 2019, 06:15:45 pm
Thousands protest in Puerto Rico calling for governor to resign

2 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8cf1j4I-O8





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Title: Re: Current Events
Post by: patrick jane on July 30, 2019, 10:22:22 am
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OpB6utW6lE
Title: Re: Current Events
Post by: patrick jane on August 10, 2019, 10:15:46 am
EXPOSED: Media's Top 5 Mass Shooting Lies! | Louder With Crowder


Steven Crowder exposes the media's worst mass shooting lies in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton shootings.

15 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yZsOczEEys






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Title: Re: Current Events
Post by: patrick jane on August 20, 2019, 11:53:39 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLCiQdR6iLQ
Title: Re: Current Events
Post by: Bladerunner on August 22, 2019, 09:33:59 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLCiQdR6iLQ

wow this format is way off.

Blade
Title: Re: Hong Kong 2019
Post by: patrick jane on October 04, 2019, 09:02:30 am
(https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/92275.jpg?w=700)
https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/september/prophetic-voice-of-hong-kongs-protesters.html






The Prophetic Voice of Hong Kong’s Protesters




The political forces in the region also pose an existential threat to the church.


The people of Hong Kong have protested for greater freedoms for years, but the latest demonstrations represent a historic outcry.

Since 1997, July 1 has marked the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return as a territory of China after 150 years of British colonial rule. Beginning in 2003, it is also the date of annual protests by Hong Kong residents calling for increased democracy.

These demonstrations have been generally peaceful—until this summer, when a group of protesters stormed the Legislative Council parliament building. They were angry at what they saw as China’s most recent, and most egregious, effort to weaken the freedoms of Hong Kongers.

In April, Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, had introduced a bill that would allow Hong Kong to detain and transfer people wanted in countries and territories with which Hong Kong has no formal extradition agreement, including mainland China and Taiwan. The bill, she argued, was necessary to send a Hong Kong man wanted for murder to trial in Taiwan. It specifically included exemptions for political crimes, religious crimes, and certain white-collar crimes.

The Hong Kong public, though, saw the bill as a thinly veiled ploy to give China additional power over the semi-autonomous territory. The bill has kicked off nearly four months of protests that have, at times, had as many as 1.7 million participants—a remarkable number for a city of 7.4 million people.

Even as the extradition bill was suspended by Lam, and then withdrawn altogether, the protests against Chinese overreach have continued, with turnout spiking leading up to another anniversary: National Day. October 1 marks the 70th annual commemoration of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Aside from the bill itself, four of the protesters’ five main demands remain: Lam’s resignation, an inquiry into police brutality, the release of those arrested, and greater democratic freedoms.

Many Hong Kong Christians, while comprising less than 12 percent of the population, have played a prominent role in the protests—marching, singing hymns, holding prayer circles, and providing food and shelter to other demonstrators. (The Jesus People song “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” became an unexpected anthem of the protests, as participants sang the tune to calm confrontations with police.)

For Christians there, the Chinese Communist Party may be the greatest existential threat to the Hong Kong church. In the past few years Chinese president Xi Jinping has systematically cracked down on Christianity in the mainland, razing churches, arresting leaders, and ejecting foreign missionaries. The persecution has extended to other faiths, with Xi’s government detaining as many as one million Muslim Uighur people in re-education camps in the country’s western region.

Under the Hong Kong Basic Law, a constitution agreed to by the United Kingdom and the People’s Republic of China when the former handed Hong Kong back to the latter, none of these things should happen in Hong Kong—at least not until 2047, when the Basic Law and Hong Kong’s semi-autonomy expire.

But in the 22 years since Hong Kong became part of China again, the Communist country has shown a willingness to push the boundaries of that agreement. The Hong Kong legislature is stacked with pro-Beijing lawmakers; the supposedly free press is regularly censored. On multiple occasions, China has pushed for history curriculum in Hong Kong schools that, among other things, erases significant events like Mao Zedong’s disastrous Great Leap Forward campaign and the Tiananmen Square massacre. Electoral reforms proposed by Beijing, which gave the Chinese Communist Party more influence over who was eligible to run for office in Hong Kong, sparked the Umbrella Movement in 2014.

Even without an extradition agreement, China has already shown its willingness to abduct and detain Hong Kong residents that have angered Communist leaders. Most notably, five Hong Kong booksellers who sold books critical of Chinese leaders disappeared in 2015, claiming later that they had been imprisoned on the mainland. In a country where as many as 99.9 percent of defendants are found guilty, the idea of justice is questionable at best.

For Chinese Christians within the diaspora, the threat from the mainland is no less real. Those born in the 1930s and 1940s grew up as Mao Zedong and his staunchly atheist Communist Party came to power. Many Chinese Christians who now live abroad fled after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, with Hong Kong often being one of their first stops toward the freedom to practice their faith.

Today Hong Kong remains the safest haven on the border of mainland China for missionaries and ministries, where they go to purchase supplies, attend trainings, post on social media, or simply to escape the ever watchful Chinese authorities, known for monitoring communications and the movements of foreigners. Hong Kong often serves as the staging ground or headquarters for missions efforts into the mainland. As China attempts to exert greater control over Hong Kong, their work is even more at risk.

Of course, no protest movement is perfect in its motivations and actions. Protesters in Hong Kong have been criticized for shutting down the city’s bustling international airport on multiple occasions, damaging government buildings, scuffling with police, and harming the tourism industry.

But even flawed protest movements can provide a prophetic voice, bringing to light the forces threatened by a people who are free and empowered. The demonstrators’ persistent efforts have highlighted police brutality; they have incurred the aggression of the Triads, organized crime syndicates in Hong Kong.

Protest leaders, including Joshua Wong, a Christian activist who rose to prominence during the 2014 protests, and anti-Beijing lawmakers have been arrested. The Chinese military is amassing security forces on the Hong Kong border as a stark warning to the protesters about the possible consequences of their actions.

In recent years, the international community has been more inclined to overlook China’s curbing of human and political rights within the mainland and its territories, in hopes of currying favor with the economic and military superpower. But with these protests, it has become much harder to ignore the fact that China ranks 135th on the Human Freedom Index. Activists from Hong Kong have recently testified before the United Nations Human Rights Council and the US Congress.

At this point, no one knows how the story unfolding in Hong Kong will end. Some could even argue that their efforts are futile, given that, in a short 28 years, Hong Kongers will have lost all claim to their existing freedoms and political systems. The many thriving churches and ministries in Hong Kong may be forced to close their doors or go underground after 2047.

But, for now, they continue to raise their voices. They continue to march. And the spotlight continues to shine into some of the darkest corners of Chinese rule.




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Title: Re: Hong Kong 2019
Post by: patrick jane on October 07, 2019, 03:11:59 am
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD9tunPHsOE
Title: Re: Hong Kong 2019
Post by: patrick jane on November 19, 2019, 10:47:19 am
(https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/113879.jpg?w=700)
https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/november/hong-kong-chinese-diaspora-churches-north-america-response.html







Praying for Hong Kong Can Be Politically Disruptive—Even in America




Why Chinese diaspora churches remain silent while Christians in Hong Kong take to the streets.


On the afternoon of Sunday, August 18, about 70 people gathered for a prayer meeting at a church in Vancouver organized by the group Vancouver Christians for Love, Peace, and Justice. Their focus was the same as their three previous gatherings: to pray for the ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong, for those affected, and for human rights and freedom in the city of 7.4 million people.

Before the meeting ended, the Tenth Street church building was surrounded by as many as 100 pro-China demonstrators waving Chinese and Canadian flags. The attendees inside, according to a spokesperson, feared for their safety and were escorted out by Vancouver police officers.

This confrontation took place more than 6,300 miles from Hong Kong and six months after Chief Executive Carrie Lam introduced a controversial extradition bill that would allow fugitives to be extradited into mainland China. The proposal was seen as a ploy to grant Beijing more power over the city, setting off large-scale demonstrations that have continued to this day.

While Lam canceled the extradition bill in September, unrest has continued as protesters press for Lam’s resignation, an inquiry into police brutality during the protests, the release of those arrested, and greater democratic freedoms.

The situation in Hong Kong hits close to home for the 500,000 Hong Kong immigrants residing in Canada and the more than 200,000 in the US. Many still have relatives and friends in Hong Kong, which is part of China but governed by separate laws. Others have directly benefitted from the freedoms and opportunities offered by the semi-autonomous region.

Pastor John D. L. Young grew up in Guangdong Province in mainland China, and then spent about six years studying for his doctoral degree in Hong Kong before immigrating to the US. “I have great affection for Hong Kong. My studies in Hong Kong were financially supported by churches there,” Young, who now leads two Methodist Chinese churches in the New York metropolitan area, said in a recent interview with CT. Speaking in Cantonese, he explained, “The church in Hong Kong has given me a lot of support and encouragement. They provide a lot of love and financial support to the church in China also.”

But these deep ties to Hong Kong have not been enough for Chinese churches in North America to take a public stance. Meanwhile, Christians in Hong Kong have played an active role in the protests: marching, offering food and shelter to demonstrators, and attempting to diffuse tensions with the police.

The Hong Kong Christian Council published a strongly worded statement in July, calling for the suspension of the extradition bill and an independent inquiry into police brutality. In contrast, the Chinese church in North America—numbering more than 1,000 institutions in the US alone—has been largely silent.

The choice not to publicly comment on the Hong Kong protests is an intentional one, with Chinese Christian leaders fearing repercussions from both their own congregants and external supporters of Beijing.

According to Fenggang Yang, founding director of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University and author of Chinese Christians in America, the majority of Chinese churches in the diaspora have members who come from different regions of East Asia. “In most congregations, you will find people from Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, and southeast Asia,” Yang told CT. “Ten years ago, mainland Chinese were still a minority in many churches. Now many have a majority from the People’s Republic of China.”

Different origins among ethnic Chinese immigrants can foster different political views, with more Christians from China supporting the policies of the Chinese government, and those from elsewhere often more critical of the Chinese Communist Party. Even among Chinese immigrants from the same place, views on the situation in Hong Kong can diverge greatly depending on age, personal politics, and tolerance for civil disobedience.

“When you have very nationalistic Chinese Christians and more democratic Chinese Christians, it’s hard for them to have any meaningful conversation,” said Yang. At his own home church in Indiana, a longtime member from Taiwan offered a prayer for the situation in Hong Kong, and another member from China immediately filed a complaint with church leaders.

The simplest solution, then, among Chinese church leaders and laypeople in the diaspora, is to remain avidly apolitical. There is a hard-fought sense of unity within Chinese churches, which gather immigrants of diverse backgrounds around shared culture and ethnicity. But this unity can be easily disrupted by discussions of controversial or complex political issues.

The current situation in Hong Kong is particularly fraught, as it presses on uncomfortable questions of sovereignty, nationalism, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, civic responsibility, and personal loyalties.

“Just as Hong Kong Christians most want peace, those in the diaspora also want peace in their churches and in Hong Kong,” explains Justin Tse, a social and cultural geographer and the lead editor of Theological Reflections on the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement, which covers the 2014 protests considered a precursor to today’s demonstrations.

As violence has escalated between Hong Kong protesters, opponents of the demonstrations, and the police, leading to several fatalities and serious injuries in recent weeks, prayers for peace are not inconsequential. Prayers for peace are certainly significant for the number of Hong Kong pastors who are regularly serving as front-line peacemakers in the demonstrations, trying to calm tensions and act as buffers in confrontations between protesters and police

But Tse is concerned that broad statements or prayers about peace have become a proxy for more substantive conversations.

“One of my longstanding concerns about the Chinese church is that when stuff happens that is upsetting to people in general, they don’t want to talk about it,” Tse explains. “Because they don’t want to talk about it, they don’t want to learn about it. But in not talking about it, they are talking about it.”

There’s a belief among many Chinese pastors that it’s simply not their place. Chinese churches in North America have generally stayed out of partisan debates, with the notable exception of being vocal opponents of same-sex marriage.

Joseph Chun, a Hong Kong native who is now the senior pastor of First Chinese Baptist Church in Los Angeles, said that he has his own personal views of the demonstrations in Hong Kong. “But I would not influence my people to have the same opinion I have,” he told CT. “That is not my role, to press my opinion upon my people that I am shepherding.” Instead, he focuses on teaching them biblical principles, such as what is evil and good and merciful, and lets them make up their own minds.

Several Chinese pastors in the US declined to be interviewed for this article, citing similar reasons: They don’t want to speak for their congregations; they don’t want to risk harming the unity of their community; they don’t feel like they know enough; or they haven’t discussed the Hong Kong protests at all with their churches.

Kevin Xiyi Yao, a native of mainland China who is now an associate professor of World Christianity and Asian Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, understands why Chinese congregations in North America choose not to take sides on controversial political issues. But, in this case, he believes they’re missing an opportunity to address a fundamental challenge that extends beyond current events and plagues Chinese people as a whole: a strong prejudice against other Chinese based on language, culture, and geographic origin.

In the current demonstrations, “I would say there is a lot of rhetoric and mentality of parochialism and outright discrimination,” he told CT in a recent interview. Among many Hong Kong protesters, there is an overt bias against people from mainland China. Many mainland Chinese, in turn, see Hong Kongers as entitled troublemakers. Such prejudices are often brought into Chinese churches in the diaspora—but they aren’t discussed.

Addressing such biases “could be painful in the short term, but in the long term it’s good for the health of the church, to make the church stronger. If you want to cover it over to maintain the peace on the surface, then you end up with a weak church,” said Yao. As an alternative, he recommends that church leaders “talk about what reconciliation means. Let’s talk about issues of social justice. What’s the Christian vision of a just and peaceful society?”

For now, these kinds of conversations are rare among North American Chinese churches. And while church leaders fear that speaking out about Hong Kong or other hot button topics could drive out members, silence could very well have the same effect.

Tse, for example, is part of a group of second-generation Chinese Americans and Chinese Canadians who left the evangelical church after its refusal to address the 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong.

As the few churches and Chinese Christian leaders who have spoken out have discovered, there are risks to being vocal. Tse knows of several congregations that support the Hong Kong protests, including his own Eastern Catholic congregation in the suburbs of Vancouver, that have been visited by strangers who photographed all the attendees and posted their images on social media. Others, like Vancouver Christians for Love, Peace, and Justice, have been harassed by pro-China demonstrators.

It’s also common for Chinese churches in the diaspora to be connected to ministries and Christian leaders in Hong Kong and China through giving, missions work, and denominational ties. They fear that if they become known as outspoken pro-democracy advocates, their partners could face harassment and oppression by Chinese authorities.

And yet refusing to engage with current events, especially when it concerns human rights and social justice, comes with its own costs, according to Tenth Church senior pastor Ken Shigematsu. “There’s a danger in being politically partisan, but there’s also a danger in not speaking out prophetically and boldly on the issues of our day,” he told CT. “And I would say that’s an even greater danger.”

Despite the incident on one of his church’s five sites back in August, Shigematsu continues to encourage prayer and dialogue about the demonstrations in Hong Kong within his multiethnic congregation. He hopes that more pastors will do the same.

“I would say that it’s important to be informed on the issues, to be praying for wisdom and discernment. But when we see human rights violated, intimidation and violence, I believe that it’s important as pastors to speak out against those kinds of injustices,” he said. “There sometimes is an overlap between justice issues and political issues. When that happens, we’re not going to shy away from the issue. We’ll sometimes wade into controversy.”
Title: Re: Hong Kong 2019
Post by: Bladerunner on November 19, 2019, 08:13:17 pm
(https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/113879.jpg?w=700)
https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/november/hong-kong-chinese-diaspora-churches-north-america-response.html







Praying for Hong Kong Can Be Politically Disruptive—Even in America




Why Chinese diaspora churches remain silent while Christians in Hong Kong take to the streets.


On the afternoon of Sunday, August 18, about 70 people gathered for a prayer meeting at a church in Vancouver organized by the group Vancouver Christians for Love, Peace, and Justice. Their focus was the same as their three previous gatherings: to pray for the ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong, for those affected, and for human rights and freedom in the city of 7.4 million people.

Before the meeting ended, the Tenth Street church building was surrounded by as many as 100 pro-China demonstrators waving Chinese and Canadian flags. The attendees inside, according to a spokesperson, feared for their safety and were escorted out by Vancouver police officers.

This confrontation took place more than 6,300 miles from Hong Kong and six months after Chief Executive Carrie Lam introduced a controversial extradition bill that would allow fugitives to be extradited into mainland China. The proposal was seen as a ploy to grant Beijing more power over the city, setting off large-scale demonstrations that have continued to this day.

While Lam canceled the extradition bill in September, unrest has continued as protesters press for Lam’s resignation, an inquiry into police brutality during the protests, the release of those arrested, and greater democratic freedoms.

The situation in Hong Kong hits close to home for the 500,000 Hong Kong immigrants residing in Canada and the more than 200,000 in the US. Many still have relatives and friends in Hong Kong, which is part of China but governed by separate laws. Others have directly benefitted from the freedoms and opportunities offered by the semi-autonomous region.

Pastor John D. L. Young grew up in Guangdong Province in mainland China, and then spent about six years studying for his doctoral degree in Hong Kong before immigrating to the US. “I have great affection for Hong Kong. My studies in Hong Kong were financially supported by churches there,” Young, who now leads two Methodist Chinese churches in the New York metropolitan area, said in a recent interview with CT. Speaking in Cantonese, he explained, “The church in Hong Kong has given me a lot of support and encouragement. They provide a lot of love and financial support to the church in China also.”

But these deep ties to Hong Kong have not been enough for Chinese churches in North America to take a public stance. Meanwhile, Christians in Hong Kong have played an active role in the protests: marching, offering food and shelter to demonstrators, and attempting to diffuse tensions with the police.

The Hong Kong Christian Council published a strongly worded statement in July, calling for the suspension of the extradition bill and an independent inquiry into police brutality. In contrast, the Chinese church in North America—numbering more than 1,000 institutions in the US alone—has been largely silent.

The choice not to publicly comment on the Hong Kong protests is an intentional one, with Chinese Christian leaders fearing repercussions from both their own congregants and external supporters of Beijing.

According to Fenggang Yang, founding director of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University and author of Chinese Christians in America, the majority of Chinese churches in the diaspora have members who come from different regions of East Asia. “In most congregations, you will find people from Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, and southeast Asia,” Yang told CT. “Ten years ago, mainland Chinese were still a minority in many churches. Now many have a majority from the People’s Republic of China.”

Different origins among ethnic Chinese immigrants can foster different political views, with more Christians from China supporting the policies of the Chinese government, and those from elsewhere often more critical of the Chinese Communist Party. Even among Chinese immigrants from the same place, views on the situation in Hong Kong can diverge greatly depending on age, personal politics, and tolerance for civil disobedience.

“When you have very nationalistic Chinese Christians and more democratic Chinese Christians, it’s hard for them to have any meaningful conversation,” said Yang. At his own home church in Indiana, a longtime member from Taiwan offered a prayer for the situation in Hong Kong, and another member from China immediately filed a complaint with church leaders.

The simplest solution, then, among Chinese church leaders and laypeople in the diaspora, is to remain avidly apolitical. There is a hard-fought sense of unity within Chinese churches, which gather immigrants of diverse backgrounds around shared culture and ethnicity. But this unity can be easily disrupted by discussions of controversial or complex political issues.

The current situation in Hong Kong is particularly fraught, as it presses on uncomfortable questions of sovereignty, nationalism, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, civic responsibility, and personal loyalties.

“Just as Hong Kong Christians most want peace, those in the diaspora also want peace in their churches and in Hong Kong,” explains Justin Tse, a social and cultural geographer and the lead editor of Theological Reflections on the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement, which covers the 2014 protests considered a precursor to today’s demonstrations.

As violence has escalated between Hong Kong protesters, opponents of the demonstrations, and the police, leading to several fatalities and serious injuries in recent weeks, prayers for peace are not inconsequential. Prayers for peace are certainly significant for the number of Hong Kong pastors who are regularly serving as front-line peacemakers in the demonstrations, trying to calm tensions and act as buffers in confrontations between protesters and police

But Tse is concerned that broad statements or prayers about peace have become a proxy for more substantive conversations.

“One of my longstanding concerns about the Chinese church is that when stuff happens that is upsetting to people in general, they don’t want to talk about it,” Tse explains. “Because they don’t want to talk about it, they don’t want to learn about it. But in not talking about it, they are talking about it.”

There’s a belief among many Chinese pastors that it’s simply not their place. Chinese churches in North America have generally stayed out of partisan debates, with the notable exception of being vocal opponents of same-sex marriage.

Joseph Chun, a Hong Kong native who is now the senior pastor of First Chinese Baptist Church in Los Angeles, said that he has his own personal views of the demonstrations in Hong Kong. “But I would not influence my people to have the same opinion I have,” he told CT. “That is not my role, to press my opinion upon my people that I am shepherding.” Instead, he focuses on teaching them biblical principles, such as what is evil and good and merciful, and lets them make up their own minds.

Several Chinese pastors in the US declined to be interviewed for this article, citing similar reasons: They don’t want to speak for their congregations; they don’t want to risk harming the unity of their community; they don’t feel like they know enough; or they haven’t discussed the Hong Kong protests at all with their churches.

Kevin Xiyi Yao, a native of mainland China who is now an associate professor of World Christianity and Asian Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, understands why Chinese congregations in North America choose not to take sides on controversial political issues. But, in this case, he believes they’re missing an opportunity to address a fundamental challenge that extends beyond current events and plagues Chinese people as a whole: a strong prejudice against other Chinese based on language, culture, and geographic origin.

In the current demonstrations, “I would say there is a lot of rhetoric and mentality of parochialism and outright discrimination,” he told CT in a recent interview. Among many Hong Kong protesters, there is an overt bias against people from mainland China. Many mainland Chinese, in turn, see Hong Kongers as entitled troublemakers. Such prejudices are often brought into Chinese churches in the diaspora—but they aren’t discussed.

Addressing such biases “could be painful in the short term, but in the long term it’s good for the health of the church, to make the church stronger. If you want to cover it over to maintain the peace on the surface, then you end up with a weak church,” said Yao. As an alternative, he recommends that church leaders “talk about what reconciliation means. Let’s talk about issues of social justice. What’s the Christian vision of a just and peaceful society?”

For now, these kinds of conversations are rare among North American Chinese churches. And while church leaders fear that speaking out about Hong Kong or other hot button topics could drive out members, silence could very well have the same effect.

Tse, for example, is part of a group of second-generation Chinese Americans and Chinese Canadians who left the evangelical church after its refusal to address the 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong.

As the few churches and Chinese Christian leaders who have spoken out have discovered, there are risks to being vocal. Tse knows of several congregations that support the Hong Kong protests, including his own Eastern Catholic congregation in the suburbs of Vancouver, that have been visited by strangers who photographed all the attendees and posted their images on social media. Others, like Vancouver Christians for Love, Peace, and Justice, have been harassed by pro-China demonstrators.

It’s also common for Chinese churches in the diaspora to be connected to ministries and Christian leaders in Hong Kong and China through giving, missions work, and denominational ties. They fear that if they become known as outspoken pro-democracy advocates, their partners could face harassment and oppression by Chinese authorities.

And yet refusing to engage with current events, especially when it concerns human rights and social justice, comes with its own costs, according to Tenth Church senior pastor Ken Shigematsu. “There’s a danger in being politically partisan, but there’s also a danger in not speaking out prophetically and boldly on the issues of our day,” he told CT. “And I would say that’s an even greater danger.”

Despite the incident on one of his church’s five sites back in August, Shigematsu continues to encourage prayer and dialogue about the demonstrations in Hong Kong within his multiethnic congregation. He hopes that more pastors will do the same.

“I would say that it’s important to be informed on the issues, to be praying for wisdom and discernment. But when we see human rights violated, intimidation and violence, I believe that it’s important as pastors to speak out against those kinds of injustices,” he said. “There sometimes is an overlap between justice issues and political issues. When that happens, we’re not going to shy away from the issue. We’ll sometimes wade into controversy.”


 another Tiananmen Square