The Hong Kong Catholic Church has canceled the Tiananmen Memorial Mass

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HONG KONG – For the first time in three decades, there will be no organized memorial for the crackdown on Tiananmen Square in Hong Kong, the last place on Chinese soil where any kind of commemoration was possible.

On Tuesday, the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese announced that it would no longer hold a memorable rally in Beijing to pray for the victims of the June 4, 1989 massacre, reflecting how churches and the rest of civil society have been pushed toward censorship. Themselves. A Beijing-written national security law has shattered dissent in a once-semi-autonomous city.

The church’s move comes after a candlelight vigil that once showed thousands of people in the outdoor park on the occasion of the anniversary was canceled in 2020 due to a coronavirus epidemic, authorities said at the time. The Catholic Church’s Memorial Mass, which continued until this year, was the last of the city’s organized commemorations.

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In a response to The Post, the Diocese stated that this “does not mean denying the memory mass” and that according to the Catholic faith there are various meaningful ways to remember the dead, such as “praying for the dead person alone or in small groups.”

“However, our front-line colleagues are concerned that such activity, if held this year, could violate the now-enacted national security law,” the response read.

The decision comes two weeks after the arrest of 90-year-old Cardinal Joseph Jane, who was arrested in 2019 along with four others, including the National Security Police, for being involved in a humanitarian relief fund providing financial assistance to those arrested. Pro-democracy protests.

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Francesco Sisi, an Italian-China expert affiliated with Setimana News, a Catholic think tank based in Italy, said the move to cancel the memorial this year was to avoid controversy that could further divide the church.

CC said the diocese was “walking on very thin ice” and tried to calm the situation.

Hong Kong authorities said they had not received any applications from any organization or individual this year for the past location of Candle Light Surveillance June 4, but added that they were not accepting “other use” bookings, citing public health concerns due to the epidemic. Mentions.

Hong Kong’s candlelight vigil, the only large-scale organized memorial to the Tiananmen Crackdown on Chinese soil, was also banned in 2021, but seven Catholic churches have continued to publicly honor the victims and commemorate the massacre through special crowds. Even non-Catholics, before the time, stand in line for a seat and take part in the masses.

Hong Kong police sealed the park before the banned Tiananmen surveillance, threatening jail

The Catholic community in Hong Kong is about 400,000, about 5 percent of the city’s population.

Despite the ban in 2020, thousands joined the candlelight vigil at the time, and the court later indicted and imprisoned the protesting leaders who took part.

Since the passage of the National Security Act in June 2020, according to official statistics, police have arrested 175 people under the Security Act and charged more than 110 of them as of March 31st.

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