Hong Kong Christians pray for terminally ill Liu Xiaobo

Activists stage a sit-in demanding the release of Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, July 10 outside China's Liaison Office in Hong Kong. (CNS photo/Bobby Yip, Reuters)

Hong Kong — Hong Kong Christians came together to pray for terminally ill Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner recently released from a prison in China's northeast.

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, retired bishop of Hong Kong, and the Rev. Wu Chi-wai led a July 7 gathering for 300 Christians at St. Vincent's Chapel to pray for Liu, who is suffering from late-stage liver cancer.

Ucanews.com reported the prayer gathering was organized by two Catholic diocesan commissions and four Protestant groups. Organizers invited each attendee to write words of comfort on postcards to be sent to Liu and his wife Liu Xia, who has suffered from depression because she has been under house arrest since 2010.

On his postcard, Zen told the couple that the hearts of all Catholics in Hong Kong are linked with them.

Liu Xiaobo is like the prophet Jeremiah, the cardinal said.

"You are like the sheep waiting to be killed. We have begged God's justice for you," wrote the 85-year-old cardinal.

"But your wisdom reminded us the mission of a prophet naturally includes suffering. We dedicate you and your wife to God for the renewal of our country," he wrote.

The prayer gathering was the second event held by the commission and human rights groups in Hong Kong since Liu's release from prison June 26.

The other event — outside of the central government's Liaison Office in Hong Kong June 27 — protested how Liu has been treated by mainland authorities.

In 2009 Liu, now 61, was sentenced to 11 years for inciting subversion for his leading role in the Charter 08 manifesto. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for "his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."

Liu's current condition is grave, and his supporters have begged Chinese authorities to let him receive medical treatment abroad.

Among those voices are two medical specialists from the United States and Germany who have countered calls saying he is too ill to undergo a trip abroad. The two foreign doctors have joined Chinese counterparts in a medical team formed to offer treatment to Liu.

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