A letter from Judy Chan serving in Hong Kong
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After four months in the U.S. I safely returned to Hong Kong after Thanksgiving. Even with everything going on in America, I managed to keep up with Hong Kong news online. So I was already aware of some big stories here such as the two young legislators barred from taking office due to their unconventional oath-taking and the growing list of possible candidates in the Chief Executive election next year.
What I didn’t know about so much was how the current political climate had affected the church, in particular the Hong Kong Christian Council (HKCC), where I work. One of the events that happened while I gone was the selection of 10 Protestant representatives to the 1,200-member committee that will elect the Chief Executive in 2017. These 10 seats are a part of 60 slots given to the religious sector, including Buddhists, Taoists, Muslims, Confucianists, and Catholics. HKCC was designated by the government as the authorized body to select the Protestant Christian electors, by whatever method the organization chose.
The selection process proved to be controversial. Protesters showed up at every meeting, demanding that the Council refuse the government’s request and boycott the election. However, HKCC took on the responsibility after extensive consultation with the churches, who by and large supported sending 10 persons to the Election Committee. The Protestant representatives were chosen after several rounds of lottery, drawing from almost 600 names of Christians who applied for a seat on the committee. Many of those 600 were young people who saw the chance to have a voice about Hong Kong’s future leader. In the end, 9 of the 10 persons selected were ordinary Christians in the pew along with one prominent church minister.
As I begin a new term at the Hong Kong Christian Council, let me take this opportunity to thank you for your continuous prayers and financial support through Presbyterian World Mission. It was a joy to visit many of you while I was on interpretation assignment. Please know that I hold the U.S. in my prayers as a new administration prepares to take office. And we ask that you remember the people and churches of Hong Kong and China as we continue to seek God’s guidance in the likely restless seas ahead for our nation and city.
With all best wishes,
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