The Protestant community and the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong
Abstract This paper examines Protestants’ participation in the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong through Richard Wood’s theory of faith-based community organizing. Protestants were an integral part of the protesters in the movement. Despite many church leaders expressing reservations and opposition, the Protestant community displayed a high degree of participation in the Umbrella Movement, far exceeding any previous collective action. The author argues that the Protestant’s participation can be explained by the theory of faith-based community organizing, in which organizers of action groups used biblical stories, ideas, images, and symbols to create meaning and to build an internal political culture, leading to the Protestants’ spectacular involvement in and commitment to the Umbrella Movement.
Keywords: Umbrella Movement, Occupation Movement, faith-based community organizing, cultural work, Protestant community, Hong Kong
Chan Shun-hingis Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Hong Kong Baptist University. His research focuses on the sociology of religion and church–state relations. He is editor of A Carnival of Gods: Studies of Religions in Hong Kong (2002) and author of Changing church and State Relations in Hong Kong, 1950-2000 (with Beatrice Leung, 2003). His publications have appeared in Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion, The China Quarterly, Chinese Sociological Review, Journal of Church and State, and Politics and Religion.