05/25/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – As Hong Kong faces a new proposed law from Beijing that could threaten its “One Country, Two System” promise, Pope Francis tweeted a message in both traditional Chinese (commonly used in Hong Kong and Taiwan) and simplified Chinese (used in China) on May 24.
In his message, he said, “Let us entrust our brother and sister Catholics in China to the guidance and protection of our Heavenly Mother, so that they might be strong in faith and steadfast in fraternal union, joyful witnesses, and promoters of charity and hope.”
According to the Vatican News, in 2007, Pope Benedict XVI wrote a “Letter to Chinese Catholics” and proclaimed a Day of Prayer for the Church in China, which is celebrated every year on 24 May.
For the occasion, Pope Benedict wrote a prayer to Mary, asking her to guide the people of God “along the paths of truth and love” so that there might be “in every circumstance a ferment of harmonious coexistence among all.”
This year, the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is taking place between 5/22 to 5/28, after being delayed for nearly two months. One of the noteworthy agendas of the NPC is to pass a proposed legislation on national security which would alter the status of Hong Kong. This move has caused the international community’s uproar as Hong Kong will gradually lose its rights and freedom with the law’s expected passage.
Many speculate that Pope Francis’ tweets on Sunday were to implicitly encourage Chinese Catholics who are suffering under the CCP regime, both in Hong Kong and mainland China, especially as Hong Kongers have been fighting for freedom and democracy for nearly a year and many have been arrested or killed.
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