Issue Briefs

ERLC supports Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act

July 1, 2020

The ERLC affirms that Scripture calls for and expects God’s people to minister to the sojourner. God’s love for the immigrant, refugee, and foreigner is a consistent biblical theme, and he calls his people to do the same. Jesus Christ himself, the greatest example of love, implores us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, regardless of race, nationality, religion, or status. 

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) passed the National Security law, which represents a dramatic violation of the “one country, two systems” agreement between China and the West.  This aggressive act gives China the power to use the same “security” practices used in mainland China to punish and suppress dissent and unrest.  This law puts political dissenters and people of faith in Hong Kong in danger and at risk of life in prison and perhaps extradition to the mainland.

The Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act designates Hong Kong residents as Priority 2 refugees and streamlines their admission process to the United States. This bipartisan bill opens up an asylum path for frontline activists in immediate danger. Additionally, the bill instructs the Secretary of State to coordinate the intake of Hong Kongers as refugees with other like-minded countries. Passage of this bill would send a clear message to Beijing that the United States does not support the CCP’s attempt to silence its dissenters by denying them fundamental human rights.

The United States has a history of welcoming refugees fleeing persecution. Hong Kongers will face increasing threats to freedom of assembly and the right to practice religion in the community as the CCP begins to enforce the National Security law.  The Chinese government treats large groups—even those peacefully gathered and maintained—as a disruption to public order unless registered and controlled.  To that end, the government deploys surveillance devices capable of facial recognition in state-sanctioned and unregistered houses of worship as a means of control and intimidation.  With these mainland “security” measures now extended to Hong Kong, Christians and other religious minorities are especially vulnerable and in need of protection.

The ERLC supports the bipartisan Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act so that the United States can be a place of refuge for Hong Kongers fleeing political persecution.