MANILA - An archbishop of the Hong Kong Angelican Church appeared to mock some pro-democracy protesters who complained about their conditions in detention, saying they should have brought their "Filipino maids".
Most Reverend Paul Kwong made reference to Filipino maids when he cited some of the experiences of students arrested during a march earlier this month.
"Last week some students arrested... told reporters: 'We had no food to eat. We had to queue up for the toilet'. I would say 'why didn't they bring along their Filipino maids to the march," Kwong was quoted as saying in a report by the South China Morning Post.
The sermon was delivered in Cantonese at the St. Paul's Church in Central.
However, Reverend Peter Koon, provincial secretary general of the Anglican Church, defended Kwong's speech, saying he was just trying to remind churchgoers of the church's role as a "facilitator of peace"
"This sometimes causes laughter in the audience; it may have caused some residents listening to the sermon to become unhappy... People need to listen to the whole sermon. If you take out snippets, then it may sound like he was mocking," Koon said.
There are 174,851 permanent, temporary and irregular Filipino workers in Hong Kong, according to the data from the Commission on Overseas Filipinos 2012 Compendium of Statistics on International Migration.
Agence France-Presse reported that pro democracy group's Occupy Central campaign has vowed to take over the central business district if the government does not allow electoral reform.