Sunny Leung


在港同志基督徒難民的故事 Story of a Gay Christian Refugee:Mr. J

(感謝侯詠釗弟兄協助此訪問的英語翻譯。Thank you Alan Hau for the English translated version of this interview.)

Mr. J是一位來自埃及的難民,也同時是一位同志基督徒,同性戀是他的身份,也是他被迫離開埃及的主因之一,他很想念自己的家鄉,也很掛念自己的家人,但他根本沒辦法在埃及生存下去,因為同性戀在埃及而言是一項罪行,可被判坐牢15-20年,加上埃及是一個對基督徒極不友善的伊斯蘭國家,所以他便輾轉來到香港,以難民的身份居住下來。

Mr. J is a refugee from Egypt and a Christian. He also identifies as a gay man, which is one of the main reasons why he must flee from his homeland. He dearly misses his family and country, but at the same time, he knows he cannot survive in that environment. Homosexuality is a crime in Egypt masked under the guise of antiquated “debauchery” laws.  The laws are regularly enforced and those punished can be sent to prison for 15 to 20 years. Cruel to members of the LGBTI community, John had no choice but to leave the conservative Islamic country for his safety.


Mr. J現年33歲,他說早在自己7歲時已發現到自己非常喜歡跳舞,卻不喜歡女生,他與大部分同齡男生很不同,他們喜歡冒險和足球,自己卻喜歡音樂和舞蹈。在香港地擁有與別不同的興趣可能沒有問題,但在埃及地卻要受到很多的校園欺凌,Mr. J便因而在中學內受盡同學的欺凌,不只是在言語上的侮辱,更包括肢體上的暴力,他在高中時就曾因自己的一段同性戀愛關係在校內被公開而被毒打欺凌,可見性小眾在埃及人的群體中是如此不被接納。

Mr. J is 33 years old, but deep down he knew he is special when he was 7. Instead of playing football and contact sports, he loves music and dance. Having a wide range of hobbies may not be a big deal in Hong Kong, but he was no stranger to being bullied in school. His love for the arts drew not only verbal abuse from his classmates but physical ones too. When he was in high school, his romantic relationship with another boy was discovered. Outed publicly, he was humiliated and beaten physically by his peers. Life as a sexual minority in Egypt is rarely a joyful one and the challenges did not end here.

Mr. J是在16歲時向父親出櫃說自己是一名同性戀者,他父親那時非常憤怒且暴打了他一頓,因為他的家庭信仰是伊斯蘭教,所以不只父親,連其他的家庭成員也不接受這個同性戀的男生。在他出櫃且被打後不久,家人便把他送到當地的診所接受所謂的同志「拗直」治療,但與其說那些是治療,不如用「酷刑」來形容診所內發生的事更為恰當。

Right about this time, Mr. J was 16 and he came out to his father. His father, a conservative Muslim, furiously beat him into submission. No one else in the family stood on Mr. J’s side. There was no acceptance and zero tolerance for Mr. J’s identity and they swiftly sent him to a local clinic to have his sexual orientation changed through the notorious and inhumane treatment of “conversion therapy”.

Mr. J被強制送到診所接受兩年的治療,其中包括有「電療」,指的是診所職員會將通了電的電線貼在他頭部太陽穴的位置上,然後嘗試透過強勁的電流來「醫治」他的同性戀傾向;另外還有「水療」,指的是他們會把他的全身強行塞進倒滿冰粒的大水桶中,透過寒冷刺骨的感受將他的同性戀傾向驅走。在接受了慘無人道的「拗直」治療後,Mr. J深知自己的同性性傾向根本沒有被改變,但假若他將事實說出來的話,他便再需要回到診所被折磨得不似人形,所以他在離開診所時沒說過半句話,讓父母以為他已完全「康復」,就回復以往對他的態度,不再罵他或打他。

Thus begins the two horrible years of treatment at this so-called clinic. Electroshock was administered regularly with electrodes attached to his temples. The strength of the shock was meant to condition his brain to associate homosexual thoughts with pain. A twisted form of cryotherapy was also used on him where clinicians would submerge him into a bucket of extremely cold iced-water. The quack doctor was trying to illicit a perverted pavlovian response from Mr. J; feel the torture every time he thinks romantically of a man. Mr. J noticed not only was the treatment not working at all, but his life was in grave danger. His mind was being whittled down, little by little. With his dignity and humanity stripped away, it was only a matter of time before his mind snaps and suicide becomes his only escape. Mr. J didn’t want to go to the clinic anymore, but neither did he want to be beaten at home. The harrowing experience left its mark on his psyche and when he left the clinic he was completely silent. Then he spoke and told an elaborate lie to his parents to pretend he is cured.


可是,在埃及地做同志是一大困難,做基督徒也是另一大困難,偏偏他是一位同志基督徒。Mr. J是由大學裡認識的朋友帶他決志信耶穌的,他一直都認為自己從來不是一個穆斯林,因為這只是他的家庭信仰,卻從不是他個人的信仰,所以他對基督教一向都不抗拒,在大學朋友向他介紹過耶穌後,他便決心做一個基督徒。直到現在,他已當了9年的基督徒,而在他24歲時,他又向家人出櫃說自己是基督徒,父親這次便更徹底地把他踢出了家門,幸得當地牧師的接濟,他才僥倖存活下來。

Mr. J’s identity as a Christian is almost as troubling as being gay. He could never identify with Islam personally because it wasn’t his choice. It was his family’s choice. He was introduced to Jesus by his friend in university and in His voice he found solace and sanctuary. A voice that accepts him for who he is and a spirit that walks with him no matter how difficult the challenges ahead may be. It is a voice he has followed for nine years and never looked back. When he decided to become a follower of Jesus, he was denied his home by his family. He was 24 and homeless. Luckily, a pastor from a Coptic church came to his aid. Mr. J survived.

鑑於在埃及的生活質素實在太差,身為一位同性戀基督徒實在太危險,所以Mr. J便決定先過去蘇丹避難,然後再從蘇丹離開中東地區,現在他已過來香港2年,正在南昌的難民收容所居住。提到他的家人,他說現在不能聯絡在埃及的家人,因為他怕這樣會給他們帶來殺生之禍,而其實他自己是非常掛念家鄉的,但他卻不能回去。談到埃及的社會經濟情況,他說埃及對他而言是一個非常好的地方,因埃及曾是一個能夠自給自足的富庶大國,但現在埃及的狀況只會叫人感到唏噓。

The living conditions in Egypt is far too dangerous for a gay Christian, Mr. J decided to leave. He escaped to several countries around the middle east and then to Hong Kong about 2 years ago. He settled at the refugee shelters in Nam Cheong. Finally, he found a place without immediate danger. Speaking of his family, Mr. J wouldn’t dare to contact them although he misses them dearly. His family is keen to enforce Sharia law and he will be executed upon return. It has been more than 9 years since his last contact with them. Looking back, he misses Egypt, a once self-sufficient country with endless opportunities and economic potential. He sighs at the current state of the country.


香港雖然有收留難民,但卻並非一個對難民友善的地區,這讓Mr. J在香港的生活非常艱難,因法例規定難民不可在本地工作,每月只可接受比綜援還要少的經濟援助,就是$1500房屋津貼、$1200超市現金券、$300雜項津貼以及不到$500交通津貼,令他的生活捉襟見肘。而因為他是一位同性戀者,他也與香港的同志社群有接觸,但因著彼此成長文化和背景、語言的完全不同,他覺得自己是一個異類,話雖如此,他亦豁然接受這樣的身份,因為他清楚知道是他主動來香港,而不是香港人去找他過來的,他來香港是為了自己性別和情慾的自主和自由,所以他不會抱怨,而且他也認識到不少有人情味的本地居民,遭遇也非絕對的負面。

Although Hong Kong has shelters for refugees and asylum seekers, it is far from a refugee-friendly city. The relief from the government is economically unsustainable for many refugees. The tight monthly budget coupled with the fact that they are not allowed to work legally makes life unbearable.

Mr. J is an openly gay man in the city and luckily he is in touch with local LGBTI advocacy groups. He is free to express his identity but given his different upbringing, cultural background and language barriers he finds himself an outcast wherever he goes. It takes an enormous effort for a local to know him and understand him as a person, but he never regrets his decision to come to Hong Kong. After all, he decided to come here by his own free will, in search of a safe haven where he is not persecuted for his identity and desires. In the city, he has made friends and allies along the way and life isn’t always bleak.

Mr. J提到香港也有少量的埃及人,但因著他的同志身份而被拒絕在群體外,他自己的心願是找到一位心儀的埃及男生談戀愛,但埃及人本來就不接受同性戀,更遑論可以得知對方是同性戀,根本不用妄想來到香港後可找到這樣的人,即使他現在也收到一些性邀請,但其實他的內心也很空虛,他希望的是找到生命中的另一半,一個願意對關係忠誠的男生,而非發展不同的一夜情。

There is also a small Egyptian community in Hong Kong but they have rejected Mr. J on account of his sexual identity. It is his dream to be in a relationship with another Egyptian gentleman. That is a tall order in Egypt given the pervasive conservatism, let alone Hong Kong. Sexual invitations come and go, but it does get lonely as time passes. He hopes to find his other half in a relationship built on trust and love. More than casual flings, he dreams of a true companion he can share his life with.

雖然Mr. J在香港遇到不少不如意的事情,但他也感恩在香港遇到對同志和難民友善的基督教會,例如有長期服侍難民的「九龍佑寧堂」,他們不時會舉辦難民廚房,讓在香港的難民有時間聚首一堂,以及提供崇拜即時傳譯服務的同志友善教會「基恩之家」,他可以自由地在崇拜中舞動身體和歌唱讚美上主。

Mr. J’s journey in Hong Kong is met with frustration here and there, but he is nevertheless thankful to be in touch with the inclusive churches in Hong Kong that are kind to the refugee and LGBTI communities. Kowloon Union Church (KUC) have been holding cookouts for refugees, allowing him to meet other souls facing the same challenges in the city. Blessed Ministry Community Church (BMCC), as an LGBTI affirming church, has been providing live English translation for services. In these sanctuaries, he can celebrate his life as he would a child– dancing in freedom and singing in joy to praise God.


談到他的基督教信仰,Mr. J認為在基督教中「接受自己」永遠是最重要的一門功課,因為所有人的本相本來就是上主的獨特創造,其中當然包括同性戀傾向,要拋開一切的謊言和欺騙來相信上主愛同志,其實也是不容易做到的事情。Mr. J繼續說,成為基督徒這決定即表示自己的生命不再只屬於個人的,而是要將生命奉獻給耶穌,奉獻給有需要的、被邊緣的小眾群體。談及「愛與正義」,他很斬釘截鐵地說正義必須先於愛來出現,他舉了一個例子是當有人飢餓時,他最需要的是別人給予他食物還是為他禱告呢?兩個行動的動機都可以是因為愛,但給予食物更是因為見到背後不公義的處境而選擇伸張公義,讓飢餓的先得到溫飽。所以若沒有正義,真正的愛都不會存在。

On the topic of Christian faith, Mr. J views self-acceptance as the most important practice. All life on earth is part of God’s unique creation, including our diversity in sexual orientation, among other attributes. To dispel all the lies in homophobia and hate-filled doctrines in the public and arrive at the final truth that God loves LGBTI members, is a difficult task. To be a follower of Christ, he continues, is a decision to finally let go of his personal ego. His life is no longer his own, he gives it all to Jesus. He gives it all to those Jesus loves and cares about– those who are rejected by the world, the fringe community and the weakest ones longing for help.

Speaking of love and justice, with conviction, he points out that fundamental justice must be in place before love can thrive. Justice and love cannot substitute for each other. When a hungry person is on the verge of death, he asks, does he need others to give him food or a heartfelt prayer? Both actions may be seen as an expression of love, but those who offer food see the economic injustice that a simple prayer cannot cure. Exact your sense of justice and nourish the poor man! Without justice, love loses its purpose and authenticity.


About the church, he thinks many conservative denominations are denying the sexual minority, whether or not he is in Egypt or Hong Kong. He has heard countless times from clergymen that homosexuals must go to hell. However, when he read the bible, he empathized with Jesus; born into a world where your community hates you. Certain antisemitic Christians despise the Jews for having a helping hand in Jesus’ death, but Jesus himself is also Jewish, Mr. J argued. Jesus’ conflict of identity never stopped him from loving the Jews and LGBTI members as well. In fact, He loves everyone just as much. Casting judgment and controlling others out of their fear of God is not a part of his faith. The message of love is more enduring and powerful for those under oppression. As a Christian, that is the gospel he wants the world to hear.

當Mr. J得知加拿大政府受理其案件時興奮的一刻 Photo taken at the moment when Mr. J knew the Canadian government had accepted and will process his case

當Mr. J得知加拿大政府受理其案件時興奮的一刻 Photo taken at the moment when Mr. J received the news that his case is finally underway by the Canadian government

最後,Mr. J很想讓大家知道,在香港的難民其實十分需要工作的權利,雖然他現在在香港的生活比埃及穩定和安全,但也生活得非常困難,因為在經濟上也不能自給自足,只能靠接濟救助,在香港法例上是不容許難民去工作的,所以他希望香港人也可以為難民爭取應有的權利,讓他們也可靠自己雙手來養活自己,給回他們應得的尊嚴。

Mr. J wants everyone to know that even though a refugee’s life is safer than Egypt, it is not a solution for many of them when they cannot work for a sustainable wage. It is not their wish to be taking donations and begging for aid from Hong Kong citizens. Many of them are ready and willing to work when given the chance. He hopes Hong Kongers can fight for their right to work, so they can earn a living and survive with dignity.


你願意幫助Mr. J在加拿大順利安頓嗎?一群有心的基督徒朋友組成了一個名為「On J’s Side」的組織,希望協助Mr. J籌得在溫哥華生活的費用,以及他用以協助其他正在尋求庇護的難民的費用。若你有感動出一分力幫助Mr. J,歡迎你到此GoFundMe網站捐款支持他。

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Please help raise $30,826 for Mr. J’s settlement in Vancouver! His goal is to build a better life in Canada and pay the amount forward to help other asylum seekers. He has been through many mental and physical hardships, but he is not broken, and he wants to be the hope and light for others who have suffered the same oppression. If you are willing to show you support for Mr. J, please visit this GoFundMe website.


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