On Feb 24, 2005, Six Religious Leaders of Hong Kong was held at the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong, where the celebration of the Lunar New Year was held. Over 200 religious people attended this gathering. Hong Kong Christian Council Chairman Rt. Rev. Thomas Soo and Catholic Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, representatives of Christianity and Catholicism in Hong Kong, gave the New Year’s greeting, wishing that Cantonese can be awaken to build a love filled Hong Kong in this new year represented by the chicken, which is one of the chinese zodiac animals.
Because this is the year of the chicken, in almost everyone’s greetings, everyone mentioned something related to chicken. In his New Year’s greeting speech, Rev. Thomas Soo spoke of Peter’s Denial of the Lord, “When the rooster crows, peter wakes up”, as an example to illustrate the hope that in this New Year, those hiding in the dark can be awaken from their slumber.
In addition, Rev. Thomas Soo states, “Many people are burdened and confined by anxiety, adultery, gambling, and drugs. I wish that the spirits of these people can wake up from the deep sleep, and step into the light that shines the hope, joy, and life of abundance provided by God to build a new tomorrow.”
Likewise, Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun states in his greetings that fine traditions and moral ethics, family values and values of ethics should be kept and maintained. “God has blessed Hong Kong with a beautiful environment, so people need to unite and encourage one another.” He said.
He specifically spoke about two problems amongst the older sector of Hong Kong’s population: no one is taking care of the senior citizens and the singles, who do not have family members in Hong Kong. He said, “Hong Kong has around 6000 families that cannot be united, thus, we hope that the government can setup strategies to solve this problem.
Furthermore, other four religious leaders include Hong Kong Taoist Association Chairman Tong, Hong Kong Buddhist Association President, Confucian College Dean and Chinese Islam Center Chairman.
Six Religious Leaders of Hong Kong was established in 1978, and it is now 27 years since then. Its goal is to gather the leaders from all the major religions to establish unity, cooperation, and mutual respect to discuss what kind of work could be contributed to the society and to religious ecumenicalism. New Year’s Gathering Celebration is one of the yearly events hosted the Six Religious Leaders of Hong Kong. In addition to this event, other events include thought discussions, mutual religious visit, care for the society, and presentation of opinions.