To Market, to Market . . .
"Hong Kong was once called 'the Pearl of the Orient', now it is a massive shopping paradise and a land developers' gold mine." So began Dr. Kwok nai-Wang in his lecture on the history of Hong Kong and the church in Hong Kong earlier this week. Our visit here would make such a claim hard to dispute.
We have visited the night-time Temple Street Market . . .
the Flower Market . . .
the Bird Market . . .
and we have traversed through a number of malls on our way from one gathering place to another. While the markets cater to locals as well as tourists, these malls typify high-end shopping, which only a small percentage of Hong Kong residents could afford.
Along with these malls come astronically expensive living quarters. We learned that a 500 square foot apartment can cost anywhere from $200,000 US (see pic below of one of these) to well over $2,000,000 US.
All of this has raised challenging questions for us about faith and economics, the impact of globalization, and the growing gap between rich and poor not only in Hong Kong but throughout the world. As Dr. Kwok poignantly asked, "How can the church respond prophetically to unjust government and business practices that ignore the plight of the poor?"