Cardinal John Tong Hon says he is praying 'for the reconciliation of the conflicting parties'

A cardinal has urged the authorities in Hong Kong to show “restraint in deployment of force” against protesters.

In an “urgent appeal” from the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong regarding the protests known as Occupy Central, Cardinal John Tong Hon said: “With reference to the regrettable events at Central, Admiralty and Wanchai over the past few days, may I sincerely call upon the Hong Kong SAR Government to put the personal safety of fellow citizens as her prime concern, exercising restraint in deployment of force with a view to listening to the voice of the younger generation and of citizens from all walks of life.

“It is also my sincere wish that all those who are trying to voice out their grievances will be persistent in keeping calm. Where there is a will, there is a way.

“As Christians, we believe that with God as its Creator, our world can always offer us hope. Accordingly, I would like to ask all Christians to continue praying for the reconciliation of the conflicting parties in Hong Kong, and for the peace and well-being of our community.”

Occupy Central is a non-violent occupation protest seeking universal suffrage in Central, Hong Kong. The protest began on September 27 and is expected to continue until a national holiday on Wednesday.

Hong Kong has been a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China since Britain transferred sovereignty in 1997.