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Hong Kong religious leaders donate a piece of history

University is compiling the history of interfaith dialogue

Published: April 11, 2013 07:38 AM GMT

Updated: April 10, 2013 09:10 PM GMT

Hong Kong religious leaders donate a piece of history
Cardinal John Tong (front) and other religious leaders sign the cooperation agreement

A group of religious leaders have donated more than 3,400 documents and images as well as a time capsule to a university, to help preserve the history of interreligious dialogue efforts in Hong Kong.

The Colloquium of Six Religious Leaders of Hong Kong signed a cooperation agreement with the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong yesterday.

The university will manage the collection and establish an electronic database to be uploaded on a website for public reference.

Among the donated items is a time capsule buried in 2003 to celebrate the Colloquium’s 25th anniversary. It contains the minutes of the first meeting of the preparatory committee for the founding of the colloquium in 1978, and a letter written by former British colonial governor, Sir Murray MacLehose, in 1980 calling for moral education.

“Ten years ago, the colloquium buried a time capsule in Hong Kong Park. After 10 years, the cooperation agreement has allowed the Chinese University to become an ‘open’ time capsule,” said Professor Joseph Sung, the university’s vice-chancellor.

He was speaking at the donation ceremony at the university attended by around 100 guests.

We have “no common and permanent space to keep these historical records, so they might be lost as time passes,” said Reverend Chan Kim-kwong, a Protestant, explaining one of the reasons behind the donation.  

Ibrahim Yang, secretary-general of the Chinese Muslim Cultural and Fraternal Association, said the database will help people understand about different faiths and traditions.

“This historical material not only records the development of Hong Kong religion but also part of local history,” said Professor Lai Chi-tim, chair of the university’s religious department.

The colloquium was formed by Buddhist, Catholic, Confucian, Muslim, Protestant and Taoist leaders with the aim of enhancing friendship through regular dialogue and activities in order to establish a model of social harmony.

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