02/04/2008, 00.00
HONG KONG - CHINA
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New Year message from religious leaders: we must combat the challenges to peace

Representatives of the six religions in Hong Kong (Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, and Confucianism) write to the faithful on the occasion of the lunar new year. For the sake of progress, return to morality and family.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - For the new year, "it is necessary to face the challenges that are posed to peace: the loss of the sense morality, the wasting of resources, and the erosion of families". To do this, "it is fundamental to improve the quality of education and reinforce social morality". 

The comments come from leaders of the six religions of Hong Kong (Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, and Confucianism) in their traditional message for the lunar new year, which begins next February 7th. 

The spring breeze, the leaders write, "warms our heart, flowers bloom, heavenly blessings await the people of Hong Kong. We wish you all happiness and prosperity. Traditionally, planning for the year starts in early spring.

"This is a good time for us to reflect on the past and strive for the establishment of harmony, prosperity and stability for Hong Kong. Our six religions are saddened by news of family violence, young people abusing the internet, and parents losing harmony with their children. The traditional sense of morality is being threatened by the onslaught of material pleasure, giving rise to an increase in the divorce rate and a decrease in the birthrate, all making for social instability. The waste of resources will lead to environmental degradation, climate change and eco-imbalance".

Society, therefore, "must take this as a wake-up call. Apart from implementing government policy to address the above issues, the primary need is to improve the quality of the education and strengthen social morality. The objective is a return to virtuous discipline and responsibility".

The six religions of the territory, the signatories conclude, "can unite in our continual striving for peace of mind and spiritual cultivation of calmness. When humanity is at peace with nature, we can, together, create paradise on earth".

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