On September 30, Austin Hill, host of the Austin Hill in the Morning program on Faith Radio, interviewed Brent Fulton about the situation in Hong Kong.
Hill first asked Brent for help in understanding what triggered the protest movement in Hong Kong.
Brent pointed out that the immediate cause is frustration with a recent decision made by the central government in Beijing regarding future elections in Hong Kong. When Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 after over a hundred years of British colonial rule, one of the things that China promised as part of the "One Country, Two Systems" formula was that eventually Hong Kong citizens would be allowed to choose their Chief Executive through direct elections.
Over the years, the government has pushed back the timeline for making that happen and just recently announced that when they do allow direct elections in 2017, the Chinese government will control the selection of candidates.
Last week, in response to the decision, students around Hong Kong began a boycott. Police used heavy-handed tactics to break up the students protesting in the city center, triggering more people to come out in anger. The crowds grew, and on Sunday night the police fired tear gas at the protestors. This, again, angered Hong Kong citizens who turned out in even greater numbers.
Hill then asked Brent about the situation regarding religious freedom in Hong Kong.
Brent reminded Hill that despite fears to the contrary before 1997, there has not been an eroding of religious freedom in Hong Kong. In addition to freedom of worship, religious institutions remain involved in civil society, operating schools, hospitals, and other social services. The church has also been able to build partnerships with churches within China.
You can listen to a podcast recording of the 4-minute interview on the program page of My Faith Radio. The interview with Brent begins at 40:20.
And then join us in praying for Hong Kong.
Joann Pittman is senior vice president of ChinaSource and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University... View Full Bio