Derek Lam, a Christian studying theology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, says he will probably not be allowed to fulfill his dream of being a pastor.
In a column for The New York Times, Lam says his democratic activism in Hong Kong could possibly lead to his imprisonment next month. Lam is a member of the democratic political party Demosisto.
Two of his friends were recently put in prison for peaceful protests the group organized in 2014, and more and more the government, under the leadership of General Secretary of the Community Party of China Xi Jinping, is taking control over Christian events.
“During the last evening of one of this summer’s camps, the leaders of the camp told the campers that ‘God would make China prosperous’ and that Xi Jinping’s pet infrastructure project known as ‘One Belt, One Road’ was ‘the path that God had prepared,’” Lam said. “The organizers of the camp then had the audacity to claim that ‘One Belt, One Road’ would help spread the gospel.”
People in Hong Kong are being pushed to the side with the country’s communist views, Lam said.
“Beijing is encroaching not only on Hong Kong’s political freedoms but also on the most personal ones, such as religious beliefs, as part of a larger strategy to shut down any kind of organizing outside of the (Communist) party,” he said.
That’s led to the removal of crucifixes from churches and even razing some churches. Then last year, a pastor and wife were buried alive for trying to stop the destruction of their church.
Hong Kong’s bishop, Michael Yeung Ming-cheung said the churches were demolished because of “structural safety concerns.”
Lam, however, says the bishop is looking to Xi Jinping and not God for “spiritual guidance.”
“Although there is nothing I would love more than to become a pastor and preach the gospel in Hong Kong, I will never do so if it means making Jesus subservient to Xi Jinping. Instead, I will continue to fight for religious freedom in Hong Kong, even if I have to do it from behind bars,” he said.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: August 25, 2017
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.