Top HK church official who vowed to fight sexual harassment quits after sexual accusation


A prominent Christian leader said he resigned as general secretary of the influential Hong Kong Christian Council “to avoid any unnecessary disturbance” after being accused of sexually harassing a female teacher last year.

Reverend Lo Lung-kwong, who previously vowed to clamp down on sexual harassment in the city’s churches, had already been removed as the supervisor at three schools after the accusations surfaced last month.

Lo took office in July as general secretary of the HKCC, an umbrella body for 21 large denominations and societies such as the Anglican, Methodist and Lutheran churches. It also has 10 seats on the 1,200-member Election Committee that selects the city’s chief executive.

In a statement released on Facebook on Wednesday, the council revealed that Lo tendered his resignation on February 17.

“The Executive Committee of the HKCC at its meeting on March 12, 2019 resolved to accept his resignation with immediate effect,” the statement reads.

“The Executive Committee also resolved to appoint Elder Dr Wong Fook-yee as the Honorary Acting General Secretary and will actively search for a new General Secretary.”

Wong was formerly the president of Tsung Tsin Mission of Hong Kong, a local church with about 9,000 followers.

On his departure, Lo said: “I resigned from the posts and supervisors of schools on my own accord to avoid any unnecessary disturbance, if any, towards these institutions.”

He also said he was bound by a confidentiality agreement between himself and the complainant, and could not make any further comment.

Reverend Eric So Shing-yit, the council’s chairman, called Wong “a respected Protestant leader of Hong Kong”.

Sexual harassment rife in Hong Kong churches, survey suggests

A member of the Executive Committee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he hope that the new general secretary will be a “fair and tolerant person”.

“We are doing a lot of ecumenical work, which involves the Salvation Army and the Orthodox church in Hong Kong, and we touch on many social issues. So the next person needs to find the right balance,” he said.

The member also backed Wong to do a good job, as he was the council’s acting general secretary for six months before Lo took office.

Last month, Lo, supervisor of secondary and primary schools run by the Hong Kong Methodist Church, was accused of making improper sexual advances towards a teacher during a December meeting at the church’s Wan Chai building.

The church set up a committee to follow up on the matter. It said at the time that the complainant and the accused accepted the arrangement, and wished to keep the contents of the investigation and outcome confidential.

The Education Bureau later revealed that Methodist School, Fortress Hill Methodist Secondary School and Sha Tin Methodist College had removed Lo as their supervisor.

More from South China Morning Post:

For the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2019.

SCMP , News , Hong Kong , Society