• Fri
  • Aug 1, 2014
  • Updated: 8:44am
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong

Occupy Central disobedience ‘threat’ not justified, says Christian leader

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 April, 2014, 11:44am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 April, 2014, 6:48am

Civil disobedience is justified only when there is immense injustice "particularly threatening lives", one of the city's Christian leaders said yesterday.

Reverend Peter Koon Ho-ming, provincial secretary general of the Sheng Kung Hui, the Anglican Church, said he opposed Occupy Central's plan to blockade Central district this summer to push for universal suffrage, as there was still "room for discussion".

"The conditions justifying a civil disobedience movement are arguable.

"There should be an immense injustice, particularly threatening lives," said Koon in an interview on RTHK yesterday.

"Universal suffrage is about procedures. Let's do it [secure one man, one vote] first as there is room for further discussion."

One of Occupy Central's core members is Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, a Baptist minister and veteran activist.

Koon said Chu should not lead such a movement. "We have to be clear about the role of religious officers," he said.

"Many religious leaders do not want to see Occupy Central happen. There are many ways to push for universal suffrage. Occupy Central is of a threatening nature."

Koon said many religious leaders shared his views, but added that his opposition to Occupy Central was a "personal view that does not represent Sheng Kung Hui or the religious sector".

He cited the protests against apartheid in South Africa in the late 1980s as a case in which civil disobedience was legitimate.

"The fight for democracy was a different case from apartheid, which divided people into two classes," he said.

However, speaking in a pre-recorded interview on the same programme, Cardinal Joseph Zen Zi-kiun said Occupy Central was "an option" if other approaches failed to lead to democracy. "I don't want somebody coming out saying there is a consensus against Occupy Central. The consensus is on the fight for democracy and conversation," said Zen. "We have to fight for a democratic target through conversation. But when there is no way out, Occupy Central is an option."

The city's Catholic diocese has given qualified support to acts of civil disobedience, saying in some cases people may be justified in breaking the law if their demands were repeatedly ignored.

Share

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

7

This article is now closed to comments

Kubrick
By the way Bishop Zen, who elected the Pope? The Catholics passing opinions on democracy is the biggest joke ever.
Kubrick
Great to see the Catholic Church maintaining its position that it is above the law. It's complicity in child rape tells us everything we need to know.
sng7444
Occupy Central is an act of intrusive and those whopparticipate in this event is no different than anti social activists. They are sick and lack of education in fact a terrorists of worse kind!
oscar.vandenbroeck
Religious leaders, who hold their position only by having studied for it (hopefully), should not be allowed to give their opinion in public, especially relating to politics, in the same way that I as a teacher am not allowed to push my political agenda onto students, full stop!
ngsw
Oscar,l was once a secondary school teracher and l see the perils of allowing politics in school. If I am an extremist, I can easily instill my students with heroic minds and patriotic drive that turn them to terrorists. HK had this painful experience some decades before and now HK is still being inflicted by many intricated political issues, especially related to Beijing.
sng7444
This is Hong Kong and everyone is allowed to speak out their mind but not obstruct the peoples normal life. If you are a teacher, I think you should change profession as you are not qualifies to teach yet.
jimmybabe
The problem with allowing people to talk freely is every every time a normal discussion with reasons is held it is turned into disgusting personal attacks that are ugly and uncivilized
 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or