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Vatican New Year calendar suspected of hinting at support of Hong Kong protests

Pope Francis stands in rain while surrounded by sea of umbrellas in 2020 New Year calendar

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Hundreds of umbrellas featured on Vatican's New Year calendar cover.

Hundreds of umbrellas featured on Vatican's New Year calendar cover. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — On the cover of the Holy See's latest annual calendar, Pope Francis can be seen standing in the middle of an umbrella-holding crowd as raindrops fall from the sky.

The cover photo has been widely discussed in political circles in Vatican City and around the world. Some experts believe that the Pope is using it to express his support for the Hong Kong protests and that his being the only person without an umbrella suggests that he is willing to take all the criticism on behalf of the protesters, reported CNA.

Ever since the sit-in street protests of 2014 known as the Umbrella Revolution, the rainproof canopies have become a symbol for democratic movements in Hong Kong. Many international designers have voiced their support for Hongkongers by integrating umbrellas into their creations.

Time magazine featured a photo of an open umbrella surrounded by tear-gas on its cover in June, and organizers of the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany asked participants to bring umbrellas to gatherings to demand that Beijing release Hong Kong book publisher Michael Gui (桂民海), who was seized by Chinese police for writing politically sensitive books about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Vatican New Year calendar suspected of hinting at support of Hong Kong protests
Umbrella featured on Time magazine. (CNA photo)

The popular DC Comics has received waves of criticism from Chinese fans for equipping Batman with a Molotov cocktail on the cover of one of its comic books, titled "The Future is Young." Last week, the Chinese government even delayed the shipment of 3,000 umbrellas that Taiwan's Taoyuan Parents' Association had ordered for charity, reported Liberty Times.

Vatican New Year calendar suspected of hinting at support of Hong Kong protests
DC Comics involved in Hong Kong protest controversy. (Instagram screenshot)


Updated : 2021-06-15 05:11 GMT+08:00