Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hoosiers of Many Faiths in Community

Happy Human Rights Day — Chinese lessons

A group from a small Hong Kong church voluntarily participates at a protest on Aug. 25, 2019. “We came to pray for the people, bless them and use our power of belief to help them. Our city is going in an extreme direction, but we hope we can bring some peace to the Hong Kong people,” they said.
December 10 is World Human Rights Day, a commemoration of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. What happens when Art. 18 is attacked? Look at Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

December 10 is International Human Rights Day. It’s a good time to actually read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. friends of CIC will pay particularly close attention to Article 18:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Eleanor Roosevelt holds the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Across the world, we see what happens when the UDHR is neglected or assaulted. That’s true of Article 18 as well. To see what that means, look at China today. Hundreds of thousands of residents of Hong Kong marked International Human Rights Day by taking to the streets to protest the attack on human rights by the Chinese government.

Happy International Human Rights Day, Hong Kong!

Many are unaware of the role Christians have played in shaping and leading the Hong Kong protests. They are not perhaps as powerful as the Polish Catholic Church in the days of Solidarność, but they matter. They’ve even contributed the unofficial anthem of the Hong Kong human rights protest, “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord.”

Protesters fighting to preserve the rights to worship and conscience of Article 18 can look across to the mainland for an idea of what might be in store. In Xinjiang province, several millions of Muslin Uyghurs languish in “reeducation camps, out of touch with the outside, for no reason except their religion.

International Human Rights Day matters. It should force us to think clearly about how important rights to believe and worship are, and what happens if those rights are no longer ensured. And it should help inspire us to think of how to protect those rights for people at home and around the world who are more vulnerable than us.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave your comment here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.