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“Love Your Enemies”

A letter from Judy Chan serving in Hong Kong

February 2016

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Dear Friends,

Hong Kong unexpectedly experienced an outbreak of violence on February 8, the first night of the Lunar New Year of the Monkey. What should have been a joyful holiday descended into chaos in the streets of Mongkok, where protesters battled with police for hours. Hong Kongers were shocked at the worst incident of violence in memory since the 1960s. It was said that the initial cause of the violence was protests against the government closing down illegal street hawkers selling food and goods. However, it is evident that many young people and other groups still harbor deep resentment and distrust against the government after the failure of the “Occupy/Umbrella” pro-democracy protests in late 2014. In response to this latest shocking incident, the Hong Kong Christian Council issued the following statement on February 11, 2016:

Television coverage of the Hong Kong Mongkok Riot

Television coverage of the Hong Kong Mongkok Riot

Hong Kong Christian Council Appeal for Prayers

On the night of February 8, 2016, till the morning of February 9, conflicts between the police and citizens occurred in Mongkok with more than one hundred people injured. Hong Kong experienced a restless Chinese New Year. Because of this, the Justice and Social Concern Committee appeals to churches to pray for the society of Hong Kong that hatred will not spread and violence will not expand. Also, pray that the Lord will move each and every Hong Kong person to work for a more tolerant, caring, just and peaceful society.

Prayer for the Mongkok incident on the night on Feb. 8, 2016:

O Lord, we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Holy Spirit does our praying in and for us out of our wordless sighs.

8 February was the beginning of the Chinese New Year. But the joy and excitement were shattered when we saw the confrontation between police and citizens resulting in injuries to bodies; and people were overwhelmed by anger and violence.

Lord, have mercy on us.

O Lord, we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Holy Spirit does our praying in and for us out of our wordless sighs.

A new spring marks a beginning. But what we see is unresolved conflict and intensified polarization. People are held captive by the mindset of “friends” or “enemies.” Yet the fact remains that policemen and citizens alike grow from the same roots. Why is it necessary to attack or hate each other?

Lord, have mercy on us.

O Lord, we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Holy Spirit does our praying in and for us out of our wordless sighs.

We pray for the healing for all (including citizens, policemen, journalists, etc.

). May God heal them both physically and emotionally. Pray for Hong Kong and that the government sincerely works towards resolving the conflicts and reducing the people’s anger yet not aggravating the divisions. Pray that violence will stop and that people will seek social justice with peace and love.

Lord, have mercy on us. Amen.

Whatever challenges we face, we remain grateful as always for your prayers, letters and financial contribution to our ministry through Presbyterian World Mission. Together let us work for peace, justice and compassion wherever we are through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit.

Judy Chan

The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 242

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