Crackdown of Christians in Hong Kong Spreading

New Law Could Force Catholic Priests to Reveal Secrets of Confessionals

CHINA— The persecution of Christians in mainland China is now spreading to Hong Kong, warns Release International, which serves the persecuted Church around the world.


A new law could force Catholic priests in Hong Kong to reveal the secrets of the confessional. Partners of UK-based Release International say the British government has a responsibility to stand up for freedom of faith in its former colony.

In the 35 years since China crushed the democracy movement in Tiananmen Square the country has stepped up its persecution of Christians. Religious freedom in Hong Kong is now under growing threat.

There are fears that new legislation could force Catholic priests to reveal the secrets of the confessional. Release International Partner Bob Fu explains:

‘Potentially, even the Catholic priests [face] up to 14 years’ imprisonment if they refuse to reveal the so-called crimes of sedition based on the believers’ confession, a sacrament of repentance.’

According to Bible Society, thousands of Hong Kong Christians have fled to the UK, establishing some 30 new churches. They say the Chinese Church is now – by far – the fastest growing in Britain.

Hong Kong became a British colony in 1842 and was ceded back to China in 1997. Bob Fu, a former Tiananmen protestor, believes the British government has a moral obligation to protect religious freedom in its former colony.

‘The Hong Kongers are really expecting the UK to continue to stand strong for the religious freedom in Hong Kong and to speak up for them, and also to take all necessary measures possible to protect those who flee out of persecution.’

A new report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom says the crackdown on house churches continues.

The report says Christians held in secret detention centres and prisons have been tortured.

Release International is calling on the world to wake up and recognise the severity of the persecution in China that is now reaching out to Hong Kong.

About Release International

Release International is a Christian ministry working through local church partners in around 30 countries across the world, helping persecuted Christians prayerfully, pastorally and practically. The ministry was founded in 1968, inspired by the testimony and ministry of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. Following the demise of Communism in Eastern Europe and the increase in the persecution of Christians elsewhere in the world, the Ministry broadened its activities and changed its name to Release International.

Read more news on Christian Ministry, and Christian Persecution on Missions Box.


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