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    » 09/10/2004, 00.00

    HONG KONG - CHINA

    Hong Kong Christians go to the polls



    Hong Kong (AsiaNews/SCMP) – On the eve of parliamentary elections leaders of Hong Kong Christian Churches urged their members to vote on Sunday September 12. For this all Christian denominations have organised meetings to convince the politically-indifferent and the election-weary among the territory's 500,000 Christians that it is important to take part in the political process. For many years, Catholics and Protestants have been in the forefront of those demanding universal suffrage, a right denied under both British and Chinese rule.

    Throughout the year, rally after rally, people have demanded fully democratic elections to both the Legislative Council (LegCo) and the post of Chief Executive. Currently, only half of all LegCo members are directly elected. The other half is elected indirectly through functional constituencies representing various sectors of society. The territory's Chief executive is appointed by Beijing.

    Mgr Joseph Zen, Catholic Bishop of Hong Kong, and for many a champion of democracy, said: "The present situation is not ideal as we lack democracy. But what we can do this Sunday is to turn up to vote, because by voting we can grasp what little democracy we are allowed by the system and fulfil our duty."

    The outcome of the elections is also in the hands of prayers. A public prayer meeting is scheduled for tomorrow in Kowloon's Rosary Church.

    Protestant Churches have also mobilised. Reverend Eric So Shing-yit, general secretary of the Hong Kong Christian Council –which includes most Protestant denominations in the territory– said that "Christians, as citizens, have the duty to bear witness to our faith in society. Voting is part of it."

    The Council will hold a prayer meeting tomorrow at Ward Memorial Methodist Church in Yau Ma Tei, a densely populated neighbourhood in Kowloon.

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    See also

    16/12/2005 Hong Kong – EU
    European Parliament backs timetable on democracy for Hong Kong

    During the plenary session lawmakers supported moves to work for achieving a full democracy on  Territory. Resolution will be presented to United Nations and the National People's Congress Standing Committee.



    16/11/2004 HONG KONG – CHINA
    For the Chinese government a referendum is a threat to the nation
    Democratic Party protests demanding universal suffrage. According to Bishop Zen, the referendum is no threat to Hong Kong-Beijing relationship.

    19/11/2009 HONG KONG – CHINA
    For Justice and Peace Commission, Hong Kong government taking backward steps on democracy
    The territory’s government released a package of political reforms that would change little to the current electoral system. Neither the direct election of the chief executive nor universal suffrage in legislature's election would be achieved. For Henry Tang, this is “the best deal” Beijing would allow. A seminar is organised with the participation of Cardinal Zen, political leaders and scholars.

    20/07/2006 HONG KONG – CHINA
    The people of Hong Kong, not Beijing, will decide constitutional changes, says Chan
    Hong Kong's popular former chief secretary questions delays in reforming the Territory's Basic Law. She warns against ignoring political parties, which "are here to stay, whether they like it or not."

    17/05/2010 HONG KONG – CHINA
    Despite a low turnout, voters in Hong Kong strongly support “referendum” on democracy
    Only 17.1 per cent of eligible voters turned out to vote in yesterday’s by-elections, following a boycott campaign by the government. Five pro-democracy candidates are re-elected. A Hong Kong man comes home from Finland to vote; “universal suffrage cannot be delayed,” he says.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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