Imprisoned Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong leaning on Romans 5:3-4

Joshua Wong has been instrumental in the pro-democracy protests.Reuters

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, who has been imprisoned over his pro-democracy stand, has been drawing strength from Romans 5:3-4.

He recently told German newspaper Die Welt that the Bible passage is "what gives me strength". 

Romans 5:3-4 reads: "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."

Wong, a Christian, has been at the forefront of the democratic movement in Hong Kong for many years.

Last month he was sentenced to 13 and a half months in prison after pleading guilty, alongside Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam, to unlawful assembly during mass protests in Hong Kong last year.

The sentencing came just a few months after Beijing imposed a controversial National Security Law that prompted some high profile activists to flee Hong Kong. 

In a hand written note to Die Welt, Wong commented on the impact that the law is having on the territory. 

"Since the communist-ruled China introduced the National Security Law in Hong Kong this summer, authorities there have cracked down on any activities that they believe threaten China's national security," he said.

He warned, however, that the scope of the law is far-reaching and has international implications.

"The increasing pressure of communist China on Hong Kong no longer weighs only on the activists," he said.

"The escalation is targeting each and every one of us and even the people living in exile.

"This is a symptom of a larger problem: China is threatening the freedom of the world."

Commenting on Romans 5:3-4, he added that the pro-democracy movement would not give up.

"Once sown, the seeds would one day sprout. We will not give in, but will continue the fight," he said.

He added: "At the time of uncertainties, some of us may feel uneasy and anxious, but I ensure you that all these pains and sufferings would only strengthen our courage and conviction for democracy and justice. Cages cannot lock up souls."