British faith leaders call on Government to take action on Hong Kong

Hundreds of thousands of protesters have turned out each weekend to protest a controversial extradition Bill, which they view as a threat to Hong Kong's judicial independence(Photo: Reuters)

Faith leaders in the UK have called on Dominic Raab and Boris Johnson to take "concrete action" following months of violent protests in Hong Kong. 

In a joint letter, they urge the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary to uphold the UK's duties under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and criticise the British Government for their stand-offish approach to the crisis so far.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, Lord Singh of Wimbledon, chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque Mohammed Kozbar, and the head of Humanists UK Andrew Copson are among the signatories to have added their name to the letter.

"We are leaders and members of religious and freedom of belief organisations and we stand collectively with Hong Kong," they write.

"We strive to uphold human rights, individual liberty, protection from violence and the rule of law: the fundamental principles that Hongkongers face losing in their fight for freedom. We stand with them and urge you to do the same.

"The UK government has so far stood back and hoped the crisis in Hong Kong will simply resolve itself. But hoping is not good enough.

"We need this government to take concrete action, rather than just 'speaking up' for the people of Hong Kong who are suffering during this unrest." 

Hong Kong has been in turmoil for the past half year after a controversial extradition bill triggered mass protests attended by hundreds of thousands of people. 

Although the bill was later withdrawn by Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, people continued to turn out in large numbers to protest against police brutality and any attempts at encroaching on the territory's freedoms by Beijing. 

Christian leaders have voiced fears that the increasing crackdown on churches in mainland China is a sign of things to come for Hong Kong. 

Paul Robinson, CEO of Release International, has warned: "The scenes unfolding on the streets of Hong Kong reflect the desperate cry for freedom in mainland China.

"Those cries for freedom are being met with tightening control. No wonder the people of Hong Kong see the writing on the wall."