The action of "Occupy Central in peace" has blossomed when tens and thousands of citizens rushed to Admiralty, Causeway Bay, and Mong Kok to occupy the streets, stopping traffic, while participants acted orderly and well-controlled, exhibiting the spirit of love and peace.
The impact of Occupy Central has escalated, driven by the citizens themselves, when high school students boycotted classes and participated in sit-ins, while various businesses have stopped operating. Activating the riot police last night, treating the unarmed, peacefully protesting citizens as a violent source, and firing tear gas have all triggered anger within the citizens. Together with the refusal by Chief Executive CY Leung to accept the citizens' plea for policy change, the protest actions continue to grow.
Christian Churches, theological seminaries, and many communities have started boycotting classes and strike actions to criticize the government for using excessive forces towards the protesters. The Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China voiced that they "strongly urge the police to stop using harmful weapons against protesters", and "strongly urge the government of the Special Administration Region to seriously respond to the plea by Hong Kong citizens for policy change towards true democracy".
Besides, up to 19 Christian communities including Breakthrough Corporation, HKFES, Divinity School of Chung Chi College, and various universities have voiced that "we are extremely dissatisfied with the government's use of excessive force against unarmed protesters. We strongly criticize the police's unreasonable actions to hurt the protesters, and we urge the government to treat the students and the citizens' plea rationally, to avoid unnecessary harm."
A few founders of the "Confession of Christians watching over Hong Kong" voiced criticism towards the organizations of power which either directly or indirectly allowed the police to abuse pepper spray and other unnecessary arms to beat down the citizens' freedom and rights.
Christian theological seminaries are boycotting classes for one week from September 29th to October 4th, in support of the Hong Kong students and other citizens in fighting for democratic expression, and to criticize the government's use of excessive forces against the protesters. Besides, Alliance Bible Seminary and Lutheran Theological Seminary of Hong Kong is stopping classes for a whole day, while not stopping learning but reflecting with the students on the current situation of Hong Kong society. Pastor groups from the Hong Kong Chinese Methodist Church, the Causeway Bay Congregation Church, the CCC Mong Kok Church pastoral care support center are providing religious and humanitarian services, regardless of religious or political position. Pastoral staff is always present.
Editor Note: This Article is translated by Carol Lee