Hong Kong pro-democracy leader Joshua Wong draws strength from God's word after his arrest

Prominent Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong and two other pro-democracy leaders, Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow were among those arrested for participating in a protest against the extradition bill at the Police headquarters. Although the incident happened in June last year, charges are now being made under the National Security Law that has become retrospective. 

Wong, 24, was remanded in custody on November 25 after pleading guilty to charges of organizing an unlawful assembly and inciting others to knowingly take part in an illegal assembly. The maximum penalty for such crime is 5 years. December 2, 2020, has been slated for his sentence to be read. 

Crimes which are punishable under the law and attract a maximum sentence of life imprisonment include terrorism, subversion, secession, and collusion with foreign forces with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. 

Since the protests began last year, Police have made more than 10,000 protest-related arrests. The crimes range from rioting to assault and arson. However, Wong is more concerned about the 12 youths who are being held in Beijing for almost 3 months now. They were apprehended while sailing to Taiwan to seek asylum and labeled with a charge of disavowing Chinese control over Hong Kong. 

Before his detention, Wong said in a press conference outside the court, "Under the continuing onslaughts against the city's dissents, generations of youths go from protests to prisons. To safeguard liberty for the place that we are born, all of them have made silent but regretless sacrifice. Some of them were tortured, forced into exile, or even took their own lives after chanting protest slogans. That is the reason why, ever since my first release from the prison, I have vowed to draw more public attention to prison justice, in particular those on political prisoners."

"Perhaps the authorities wish me to stay in prison one term after another. But I am persuaded that neither prison bars, nor election ban, nor any other arbitrary powers would stop us from activism. What we are doing now is to explain the value of freedom to the world."

Despite the present challenges before him, Wong is unbothered with the sufferings he would go through in fighting for Hong Kong's democracy. However, he draws strength from his faith. As a devout Christian, he quoted verses from the Bible on Twitter.

"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope," Romans 5:3-4 reads. He added, Once sown, seeds will one day sprout. Weary and distraught as some of you might feel, please have each others' backs. Cages may lock up our bodies, but never our unwavering souls. One day our indomitable will return and make us assemble again."

In his tweet on November 23, 2020, Wong stated that his act and that of other protesters is to explain the value of freedom to the world, through their compassion to who they love. So much that they are willing to sacrifice their freedom. Likewise, Wong added that he is still learning to conquer fear and he believes others are with him along this journey.

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