Head of Hong Kong Christian Council resigns following allegations of improper behaviour

Lo Lung-kwong

The General Secretary of the Hong Kong Christian Council, who last year vowed to stamp out sexual harassment from the city's churches, has stepped down after being accused of making improper advances.

The accusation was made against the Reverend Lo Lung-kwong by a female teacher at a school that formed part of a network operated by the Hong Kong Methodist Church which was under his supervision.

According to the Young Post, the teacher alleged that at a meeting last December, Rev Lo made several inappropriate advances towards her, including trying to hug her and touch her face. The education website reports that he denied the allegations when he came before an investigative panel.

It further reports that an agreement was reached between Rev Lo and his accuser, the subject of which is being kept confidential.

In addition to resigning as the leader of the HKCC, Rev Lo is also no longer supervising three Methodist schools.

A brief statement posted to the HKCC's Facebook page on Wednesday confirmed Rev Lo's resignation but offered no comment on the reason.

'Rev Prof Lo Lung-kwong submitted his resignation to the Hong Kong Christian Council to resign from his position as the General Secretary (Part-time) on 17 February 2019,' the statement read.

'The Executive Committee of the HKCC at its meeting on 12 March 2019 resolved to accept his resignation with immediate effect.

'The Executive Committee also resolved to appoint Elder Dr Wong Fook-yee as the Honorary Acting General Secretary and will actively search for a new General Secretary.'

The allegations are likely to come as a surprise in Hong Kong church circles after Rev Lo had made clamping down on sexual harassment one of his top priorities when he assumed the role of HKCC General Secretary last year.

'We need to express sympathy and support the victims, encourage churches to formulate preventive measures and complaint mechanisms ... and step up our training of [pastors],' he said at the time, according to the South China Morning Post.

The pledge came after a damning survey by the HKCC revealed dozens of allegations of sexual harassment across Hong Kong churches, many of them against pastors and church leaders.

Rev Lo told the newspaper on Thursday that he decided to resign from his post to 'avoid any unnecessary disturbance'.

'I resigned from the posts and supervisors of schools on my own accord to avoid any unnecessary disturbance, if any, towards these institutions,' he said.

The HKCC, which is made up of 21 churches and church societies, has vowed to continue its work of tackling sexual harassment in the church.

In a separate statement posted to Facebook on Thursday, it said there was 'no change in its determination to promote the policy against sexual harassment in churches'.

Lifestyle