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The theology of liberation is a fundamental crusade that started down in South American states of Mexico and El Salvador as a reaction to the improper treatment offered to the poor and the common people. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the South American states suffered the dictatorship accompanied with several injustices in the hands of the ruling governments. The injustices majorly included denial of particular freedoms such as freedom of speech, freedom of fair hearing and wrongful imprisonment among other injustices (Pattison, Stephen 98). The injustices left a number of common people suffering and oppressed in poverty, misery, together with loss of property and life at the same time. The unfairness prompted several uprisings where people woke up in a move to defend their rights and freedoms from the dictators, which involved the church. From this moment, South America witnessed the evolution of Christian crusades that aimed at the restoration of justice in the societies that were involved. The crusade was mimicked “Jesus would be a Marxist revolutionary if he were on earth today.” However, the content of the crusade was well summarized by Clodovis Boff and Leonardo in an article they entitled “how Christians are expected to save the world that is full of injustices and hardship (Campbell 117).”
He has brought down the mighty from their thrones land exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
According to liberation theology, the true followers of Jesus always work towards justice in society and align their movements to bring about positive social and political changes, especially for the working class. Jesus Himself, always focused those who were the poorest, neglected by society and downtrodden. Clearly, the central focus of the gospel is to defend the rights of the poor. Mary expresses joy in the Scripture that God has brought down the physically hungry while feeding the hungry and protecting the poor. God favors the destitute over wealthy.Umbrella Revolution
Umbrella revolution is an expression of liberation theology and how Hong Kong citizens are protestting for their right of vote. In order to understand it in depth, one will need to go back to its roots and how it all started. The political movement took roots in 2014 and makes use of an umbrella as a symbol of resistance against the Hong Kong government. The situation may seem under control at times, but the tensions are palpable as pro-China demonstrators clash with pro-democracy crowds.
As one of the leading financial hubs, Hong Kong, the former British colony, enjoys limited self-governance and civil liberties. Beijing looks after the defense and foreign affairs of the city that has limited say in press and judiciary. When Beijing redeemed control, it promised that by 2017, the region would be able to elect independently. However, it seems Beijing remains inclined to break its word, and the situation has led to hundreds and thousands of protesters on the roads that threat to paralyze the central business district (Kaiman).
It is true that relations between China and Hong Kong have always been complicated. After being a part of Britain for more than 150 years, Hong Kong handed the state back to China with a political system of One Country, Two Systems. Thus, Hong Kong was able to achieve some level of independence that are not enjoyed by the Chinese people. For example, right to assemble and freedom of the press and the right to assemble that will allow Hong Kong to elect their own leader in 2017. Hundreds of students assembled in Central Hong Kong to rebel against the Chinese oppression and control, as the Chinese government announced that Hong Kong could elect only form those candidates selected by the government. This meant that Hong Kong people would have little control over their own government even if it were elected by them. The Chinese government and the protesters have been confronting each other in negotiations and protests. What is adding to the turmoil is that pro-China residents are now joining the streets, and this is complicating the situation further, making it tenser (Brinn).
In the past couple of years, Hong Kong has been alienated over the democracy issue, and the politics here seems to be in a mess. The cost of housing and living is rising, and job opportunities are getting low. Fierce competition for space and rights is pushing the societies to their limit. Majority of Hongkongers are negative about their future, stability, and the political developments. People here are anxious about what would happen if the British colony came under Chinese control (Labor Migration, Skills & Student Mobility in Asia).
The Umbrella movement is not just about elections, it is also about the future of the city and will impact its relationship with Beijing. According to Hong Kong residents, the Beijing government has been gradually tightening its grip over the city, marginalizing them economically and politically. Due to the real estate markets made with mainland money, the home ownership has become exorbitantly expensive. Those who spoke were punished and the local media are already practicing self-censor, or else they lose out on advertisers (Kaiman).Movement or revolution?
Many ponder over the use of the term “revolution” for the movement and agitation, and it seems that Beijing adopted the term “revolution” just to reflect the protesters as extreme. The Western media too seems to have branded the movement with the same term. However, to the ordinary citizens of Hong Kong, the idea of revolution never occurred to them, and they had no intention of toppling the government or redefining Hong Kong’s relationship with China. The Chinese Communist Party’s leaders, by branding the movement as a revolt, seems to send a warning to Hong Kong’s people to not to go beyond certain limits. The term “revolution” only draws attention away from the real democratic aspirations that the Hong Kong’s people are fighting for. It is only aggravation the tensions and prolonging political restlessness in the region(Yeung).
The Umbrella Movement intensely represents the economic, political and social domination by the the People’s Republic of China and how the regime figures have been responsible for decades of mismanagement to make the territory a part of China. The pro‐democracy students have been labeled as Public Enemy Number One and portray them as seeking independence for Hong Kong. Everyone knows that Hong Kongers are demanding true independence, but it is seen as an existential threat to the socialist system. Foreign forces are blaming Chinese communism for misguiding Hong Kong’s democratic minority (Garrett).
It is not easy to configure the real situation under the garb of blanket censorship that makes it difficult to assess the real public sentiment towards the Umbrella Movement. Similar protests in China are unthinkable and it leaves the mainland citizens in envy and puzzlement. Mainstream Chinese society wonders why a city that benefits enormously because of its ties with them could think of going against it (Kaiman).
Pro‐Beijing extremists are openly calling police to beat the students and teach them a lesson and describe the Hongkongers to democracy‐craving slaves. The extreme communists are responsible for launching repressive state violence on tens‐of‐thousands of nonviolent protesters and supporters of Umbrella. (Garrett, p.4-5). Chaos, violence and turmoil are being used to suppress the nonviolent civil disobedience movement by the local extremists. Communist Party mouthpieces invoke images of ‘destructive democracy’ led by the West giving examples of Thailand, Syria, Ukraine, etc. A South China Morning Post editorial criticized the Umbrella Movement and tis supporters.
How will it all end?
The concept of liberation theology provides that the poor and oppressed would be liberated in the Lords name by faith. It implies that Christians wherever they are, are expected to associate with such people so they can understand their target audience. They are mandated to save the whole of humankind without judging. It would be hard for them to win more souls to the heavenly kingdom and salvation (Brown, Robert, et al.56). However, problems seem to thrive in almost all parts of the world and it is not easy to deal with the world's injustice.
The primary question remains as to how this will all end and if there is a solution in sight. The protests can get more violent or could be brought to an end by a punishing Chinese military. It would be dreadful to see a repeat of 1989 when peaceful pro-democracy protesters were fired at by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) sent by Beijing. However, Chinese state media has mentioned that it has confidence in Hong Kong authorities to deal with the situation (Kaiman).
It seems that Hong Kong’s people are aware that a complete freedom for them is not a reality or an option. The “one country, two systems” setup remains the best possible option for them, and the government of Hong Kong remains highly independent except foreign relations and defense. Beijing remains concerned that Hong Kong’s chief executive work in the interest of both nations. Hong Kongers demand a fair electoral system and a freedom of choice and think that Beijing’s fears are groundless. They are not against the city’s political system (Yeung).
Bible is against suppression of the weak or the minority or denying the just rights. During the liberation struggles, the liberationists asserted that the church is required to participate in bringing both political and social change, and it needs cooperation of the social class to achieve the objective. Hong Kong wants to be a part of China but not treated like one and maintains that it is different from China. PRC Constitution allows Hong Kong to retain Chinese sovereignty but practice Western‐form democracy. Why does Chinese Communist Party see a threat in Hong Kong as an enemy that is just a mere shadow in terms of its size and population? Works Cited Garrett Brinn, Katie. "Hong Kong's 'umbrella Revolution' Explained." News.yahoo.com.
News Yahoo, 2015. Web. <http://news.yahoo.com/katie-couric-now-i-get-it-umbrella- revolution-175949877.html>.Brown, Robert M. A. Liberation Theology: An Introductory Guide. Louisville, Ky:
Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993. Print.Campbell, Margaret M. Critical Theory and Liberation Theology: A Comparison of the Initial
Work of Jürgen Habermas and Gustavo Gutiérrez. New York [u.a.: Lang, 1999. Print.Garrett, Daniel. "The Red Winter: Hong Kong in the Time of the Wolf – It’s Just the Beginning."
Working Paper (2014): 1-41. Print.Kaiman, Jonathan. "Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution - the Guardian briefing, 2014. Web.
<http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/30/-sp-hong-kong-umbrella-revolution- pro-democracy-protests>."Labor Migration, Skills & Student Mobility in Asia." Asian Development Bank Institute.
(2014). Print.Pattison, Stephen. Pastoral Careand Liberation Theology. Cambridge: Univ. Press, 1994. Print.Yeung, Chris. "Don't Call Hong Kong's Protests an 'Umbrella Revolution'" Theatlantic.com. TheAtlantic, 2014. Web. <http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/10/dont-call-
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