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Hong Kong: the religious leaders’ call, “violence undermines peace and social harmony and offers no solutions to the current impasse”

A call for peace, to give up any form of violence, to put aside disagreements and build bridges of communication and “sincere” dialogue, in order to work together for the common good of Hong Kong. This has been asked for by the leaders of the main religious traditions, in a joint message: venerable Kuan Yun, president of the Buddhist Association, cardinal John Tong Hon, apostolic administrator of the Catholic diocese of Hong Kong, Tong Yun Kai, president of the Confucian Academy, and Sat Che Sang, Ibrahim, president of the Chinese Muslim Cultural Centre. The religious leaders steeped in yesterday, after on Monday a group of protesters broke into the Legislative Council building and destroyed the House hall. In response to such violent deeds, in their statement, Buddhists, Catholics, Confucians and Muslims ask the population “to assert their right to protest in a sensible and peaceful way and not commit violent deeds, which not only are against law and order but also undermines peace and social harmony”. The interreligious appeal is also directed to the local government of Hong Kong (Sar, Special Administrative Region) and to those who “have different points of view, to put aside their disagreements and their beliefs, to build together effective bridges of mutual communication and engage in a sincere dialogue”. “Hong Kong is our home”, the appeal reads: “We shouldn’t be doing anything that may endanger its wellbeing”. Using violent means to have one’s demands fulfilled “will break up our society and will offer no solutions to the current impasse. We expect instead all the sectors of society, with deep consideration, openness of mind, prudence, an accepting attitude and mutual respect, to quickly reach a mutual understanding that, keeping in due account people’s genuine needs, pursues the common good, which is the wellbeing of Hong Kong. Only on such grounds can we resume the journey that will lead Hong Kong to peace and agreement”.

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