HONG KONG- Over a thousand youngsters declared their commitment to be a pure and holy follower of Christ, saying "No" to gambling, drug abuse, violence and casual sex that have ruined the lives of many.
Organized by the Christian-based social awareness group The City of David Cultural Centre, the chastity campaign called "Here I Stand" was launched with an aim to end the fallen trend of casual sex, pre-marriage sex, and ex-martial affairs that are becoming more common in Hong Kong nowadays. By quoting the bible verses from II Corinthians 11: 2 "I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him", director of The City of David Cultural Centre Rev. Paul Ng explained that all believers should be prepared to receive the coming Lord by keeping themselves pure in sexuality.
The campaign is targeted on primary and secondary school students. Last Saturday evening, students from all over Hong Kong gathered outside the landmark Hong Kong Culture Center at Tsim Sha Tsui to attend the kick-off event. They pledged to be the student of so-called "chastity school" and sang the school song "Here I Stand". They made a promise to become the testimony for the Lord in campuses to glory His name. Chanting the slogan "Gambling, drugs, sex, violence, NO WAY; stand firm on my own, I SAY; pure marriage, WE PRAY; live with passion, WE FLY," thousands of participants become powerful role models for Hong Kong students.
The campaign is also backed by pastors, parents, university students and schools, representatives of each party prayed for the participants and blessed them during the meeting.
The City of David Cultural Centre has continued conducting survey regarding young people’s attitude towards sex and marriage since 2000. The result is very similar every year. It is found that 70 percent of young people do not care whether his or her spouse is a virgin when they are married. Also, 70 percent accept co-habitation. Another study completed by the Chinese University of Hong Kong showed that 20 percent of secondary school students have experience in sex. In conclusion, young people in Hong Kong are generally very opened to sex. Following the rise in the number of cases of divorce, family violence and suicide, the crisis must be tackled.
However, Ng suggested that only the three largest Christian denominations in Hong Kong – the Baptist Church, the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church and the Evangelical Free Church of China- have tried to start sort of chastity campaign. It has not been very effective due to the lack of training and resources for ministers. The City of David Cultural Centre is expected to collaborate with churches to promote the campaign. Since 2000, around 8000 to 9000 people, including children and elderly, have received training in the Centre.
The next activity for the chastity campaign will be held on Nov. 11, which was set to be the "Spouse Festival". Wives and husbands are encouraged to exchange "chastity rings" to reconfirm their commitment to one another.
[Editor’s note: Joanna Wong has contributed reporting from Hong Kong for this article.]