Christians in Hong Kong held a prayer vigil for Liu Xiaobo and his wife. In 2008, Liu, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was arrested and charged with “inciting subversion of power.” He is an advocate for human rights and religious freedom in China, and he was recently released due to his failing health. Liu was diagnosed with liver cancer after the prison continually denied him adequate medical treatment. He is currently receiving treatment in the Shenyang hospital for his deteriorating liver. On July 7th, almost 300 Catholics and Protestants gathered to pray and write well wishes for the couple, honoring Liu as the “conscience of China” because he promoted democracy, freedom, human rights, and rule of law in China.
07/10/2017 China (AsiaNews.it) – More than 260 Christians in Hong Kong joined a prayer gathering for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia at a chapel inside a Catholic school in the evening of July 7.
The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, released from prison on medical parole in May, suffers from a terminally ill liver cancer, and is receiving medical treatment in a hospital Shenyang (Liaoning). His wife is under surveillance since Liu was imprisoned.
Cardinal Joseph Zen, emeritus bishop of Hong Kong, told the gathering that Christians are sympathetic with the couple and have learnt from Liu Xiaobo to tell the truth, citing a scripture of Book of Jeremiah (11:19-23).
The prelate said Liu Xiaobo is like a prophet in the Old Testament, who speak for God and tell the truth. Liu tells the truth, based on facts and analysis, and speaks with calmness. “What did Liu actually say?” Cardinal Zen asked. The Charter 08, authored inspired by Liu, was inspired by Charter 77, he added.
The Charter 08 is a manifesto initially signed by over 350 Chinese intellectuals and human rights activists in 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“We learn from Liu, a person who tells the truth,” Cardinal Zen noted. “We persist in showing concerns to the happenings in China. We are calm and peaceful. We have no hatred, as Liu does,” he noted.
Quotations of Liu’s writings, including his article “I have no enemies: My Final Statement” written in 2009, were read at the prayer gathering. A quote says: “I look forward to [the day] when my country is a land with freedom of expression, where the speech of every citizen will be treated equally well; where different values, ideas, beliefs, and political views … can both compete with each other and peacefully coexist;…. I hope that I will be the last victim of China’s endless literary inquisitions and that from now on no one will be incriminated because of speech.”