Pastor Francis Chan, who had been living in Hong Kong for less than a year before his current visa was denied, is now back in the United States until the Chinese Communist Party allows him back into Hong Kong. Chan established a house church in Hong Kong and had moved there with his family. He has expressed he wants to return. He said in a January 5 video, "Hopefully we can get back in Hong Kong because, man, we want to be there."
Hong Kong has been the center of unrest as the Chinese government rejected a longstanding understanding with the local Hong Kong government that allowed Hong Kong relatively free rein from the Chinese government's oversight. As a response, protesters took to the streets to signal they preferred Hong Kong stay a freer territory rather than turn into another communist jurisdiction of China. The Chinese government allegedly burned down a newspaper factory after The Epoch Times exposed their takeover of Hong Kong. They also arrested at least 53 pro-democracy figures, in January 2021, who were protesting a new security law that allowed China to take over Hong Kong and invoke harsh measures against dissenters.
Additionally, China has locked Hong Kong down in a series of pandemic response measures that local citizens have been protesting heavily.
In the midst of this, Francis Chan expressed he wanted to return to Hong Kong. Chan is a bestselling author and is known for his book, Crazy Love, which talks about the love of God and how encountering that love will radically change your faith. He used to be the head pastor of a megachurch but left it to become a missionary in Hong Kong. One of the reasons he did this was because he wanted to start smaller congregations so believers could "truly know each other and carry each other’s burdens," he told Premier Christianity.
Photo credit: Francis Chan BR Ministries
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.