Faith gives city hope for better future
Hong Kong is at the crossroads of its political development. This is the best of times for democracy in this city, and the worst of times for a hitherto peaceful, stable society.
Since 1997, anti-government forces, never heard of in the colonial era, have gone astray.
Opposition activities, spreading like a virus, have included: obstructing the city government's policies; using filibusters to cripple the legislature; indiscriminate use of public protests and demonstrations that clashed with police and undermined their efforts to maintain law and order.
Is this what democracy, freedom and rule of law are all about?
The administration, however, is not without its shortcomings. Apart from the many startling scandals exposed among the government's high-ranking advisers and officials, the administration tends to be slow to find the pulse of public sentiment - the landfill extension proposal for Tseung Kwan O is a typical example.
More importantly, the administration, under the leadership of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, remains stubborn in its late launching of preparations for the 2017 election, giving rise to the suspicion that it is dragging its feet on democratic reforms.
Politics is the art of compromise, in which both sides are sadly lacking.
The pan-democrats are sticking to their high-sounding principles, while the central government is convinced that revolution is the ulterior motive behind them.
Could the former accept that Beijing genuinely wants to give Hong Kong democracy, and could the latter trust Hong Kong people to know what is best for them? With both sides engaged in a stand-off and the city edging towards the Occupy Central movement's proposed campaign, many political commentators have already predicted a bitter end for Hong Kong. Community spirit has sunk to the worst nadir since the second world war.
The thousands of members of congregations in churches in the city are praying fervently for the return of the harmonious and progressive society that we have always enjoyed.
To quote from a passage in the Bible, "As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, 'If you had only known on this day what would bring you peace - but now it is hidden from your eyes.'"(Luke 19: 41-42).
Christian faith gives Hong Kong people the hope for a better future.
Patsy Leung, Mid-Levels