09/04/2020 Hong Kong (International Christian Concern) – Cardinal Joseph Zen, the emeritus Bishop of Hong Kong, who is not afraid to stand up to China’s bully against Hong Kong, is now banned from sending mooncakes to prisoners.
For nearly ten years, the prelate has been delivering mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival to prisoners, a time where most people gather to celebrate with family with meals and sweet mooncakes. His personal initiative has brought warmth to many behind bars, as they know that they are not forgotten.
This year, however, the city’s Correctional Services Department (CSD) has stopped the cardinal’s mooncake campaign and its fundraising activity, calling it “politically motivated,” according to UCA News.
The cardinal, a staunch supporter of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, said his mooncake gifts to prisoners had no political intention but aimed to reassure prisoners that people had not forgotten them. In the past, his mooncakes reached everyone in the prison, regardless of their political stance and religion.
It is possible that his campaign is targeted this year, thanks to the promotion efforts by pro-democracy prominent figures such as Joshua Wong and Shiu Ka-chun. In advertising for Zen’s initiative, they appealed to the donors to send mooncakes to imprisoned brethren – those who have been arrested for partaking in the pro-democracy movement.
With the passing of the National Security Law last July, even sending mooncakes to these pro-democracy prisoners can become a political issue and needs to be stopped.
Cardinal Zen said he was “most unhappy to disappoint the inmates this year.” He will instead take these mooncakes “to more helpless and forgotten people such as street sleepers and poor families so that everyone can taste a little sweetness in their bitter life.”
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