Archbishop Paul Kwong of the Anglican Church has urged Hongkongers to “live out the Christmas spirit of giving by doing their best to take care of those who are in need.”

In his latest Christmas message, Kwong mentions a report by the government stating that over 1.35m people live in poverty in Hong Kong. 34,000 of those living in poverty are elderly people.

Paul Kwong. Photo: HKSKH.

“As we celebrate Christmas in high spirits, the poor in our midst might sigh and ask, ‘What does Christmas have to do with me?’ Poverty and an aging population are two sides of the same problem, and they present a difficulty that is hard to overcome,” Kwong said.

Kwong said that it would require the effort and determination of all Hong Kong people to solve the problem, as well as strategic and creative policies on the part of the government. “Even a simple word of love and care may bring a miracle to others.”

“Finally, may I wish you all a meaningful Christmas by living out the spirit of Christmas which can light up the love in the hearts of all Hong Kong people, filling them with joy and peace, warmth and contentment,” he added.

‘The Christmas spirit’

Meanwhile, Michael Yeung, the Catholic Bishop of Hong Kong, highlighted the importance of family in his Christmas message.

It was the first Christmas message delivered by Yeung, who succeeded John Tong as the new head of Hong Kong’s Catholic Church in August.

“Christmas is a celebration of life and family. The greatest gift God has given us is his own life, in the form of his son, who accepted a human body and was born into a family,” Yeung said.

Michael Yeung. Photo: Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong.

He said that healthy family relationships provide love and a sense of belonging, and added that family life teaches one how to keep promises and fulfil responsibilities. “To everyone, the family is the cradle of life and love, the place of birth and growth,” he said.

“I know what a great challenge it is for our younger generation, especially in today’s Hong Kong, to establish a family and I would like to pay tribute to those who, having taken up the challenge with courage and generosity, welcome with grateful hearts the Lord into their homes as their treasured guest,” he said.

“Life has its ups and downs but a family that is built on a foundation that is as solid as rock can face the difficulties and tests of life with sustained hope and confidence,” he added, wishing everyone a blessed Christmas.

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Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.