On Tuesday evening, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam faced the public and apologized just days after two million people strided against her extradition bill, most of them demanding her resignation. However, on Monday, Lam took advice from six religious leaders.
The tyranny of communist Beijing is being watched in Hong Kong, as supposition rises over whether Lam would be stepping down as leader or not. However, another strong factor in Hong Kong’s politics –starting from the office of the chief executive to the streets and the people power movement – is Christianity.
Lam declined to become a Communist Party member because it would demanded her to reject her Catholic faith.
However, on Monday evening, while she met with Catholic Cardinal John Tong, Bishop Joseph Ha stayed outside her office, pleading with young protesters who were requesting that she steps down.
Yat-ming Fung, director of the Hong Kong Catholic Social Affairs office, stated protesters were in touch with priests, and when things became too disturbed, they urged the bishops to come down to the protest zone to calm the situation.
Fung stated that Lam is a member of Wanchai parish, but the Catholic Church doesn’t encourage any political candidates. Rather, it requests justice that means universal suffrage.
On Wednesday, Cardinal Tong and the head of the Hong Kong Christian Church Reverend Eric So, circulated a strong joint statement stating the churches accepted Lam’s personal and public apology “with the acceptance of her own shortage”.
However, they called for Lam to go ahead, and “make a clear, public statement that the bill has been removed, to meet the strong demand of the general public”. They stated the churches also wanted an independent probe into clashes between police and protesters on June 12.
The Catholic Church defies the extradition law as it would threat missionaries in China, where oppression on religious groups has worsened under president Xi Jinping. On Tuesday, Lam held press conference to personally apologies to the public but refused to withdraw the extradition bill or step down.