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Work-in-Progress Workshop in Hong Kong Studies 2023 #4

Workshop 2023 #4

Date & Time: May 5, 2023, 17:00-18:00 HKT

Format: Virtually via Zoom

Provisional Title: Hong Kong Christianity and Social Activism

Presenter: Gillian Chu, Hong Kong Baptist University

Discussant: Chit Wai John MOK is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of California, Irvine. His current research interests include sociology of religion and ethics, cultural sociology, social movements, and political participation, with a focus on the Catholic Church, Hong Kong, and China.


Many in Hong Kong consider Christianity a Western religion, as it entered mainstream Hong Kong society around the same time as British colonial rule. While Christianity as a religion in Hong Kong has kept some of its Western European traditions, it has evolved and has taken on more indigenous practices after more than a century in Hong Kong. Even so, given the Christian doctrine and biblical teachings, Hong Kong Christians’ concerns are necessarily different from Hong Kongers with other religious convictions. Recent conversations within the study of Hong Kong Christianity have been dominated by engagements with societal events, as one way of understanding the Christian faith is the need for Christians to strive for social justice. As a result, the study of sociology of religion in relation to Christianity in Hong Kong has been dominated by conversations on how one’s Christian conviction affects his or her societal involvement, and vice versa. This paper will explore the field of Hong Kong Christianity by using Christians’ involvement in societal issues as a linking thread. First, through presenting various key social activism and Christian involvement, this paper demonstrates that Hong Kong Christians have played a crucial role in Hong Kong’s civic society throughout history. Second, Hong Kong Christians’ reactions to social issues from the 1960s onwards will be compared with the current wave of migration since 2020 onwards, exploring how Hong Kong Christians continue to wrestle with their faith and civic identity as they move outside of Hong Kong.

Keywords: Christianity, Hong Kong Christians’ involvement in societal issues, social activism, faith and civic identity, from 1960s to now

Project type: This abstract has been accepted by the University of British Columbia’s “State of Hong Kong Studies” Workshop (June 2023).

Gillian Chu, Hong Kong Baptist University
Date & Time
5 May 2023 at 17:00 HKT