“Hallelujah to the Lord” is now the unofficial anthem of crowds protesting against the controversial proposed law that would allow people accused of crimes in Hong Kong to be extradited to the mainland. The hymn was picked up by other protesters – soon even non-Christians were singing it.
Fears and uncertainty
If enacted, this controversial bill will permit authorities to detain and extradite people who are wanted in territories where Hong Kong does not have extradition agreements. Many fear that the bill will restrict citizens’ rights.
“The Church has taken a particular interest in fighting the bill. “
On June 9th, Patrick pastor of Yan Fook Church, which is home to about 10,000 members that normally sides with the government made a comment on its Facebook page calling for the extradition bill to the shelved. Edwin Chow, 19, acting president of the Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students, told the BBC. “There’s only one line: ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’.” And Yan Fook Church isn’t the only Christian group that has publicly announced its opposition to the extradition bill.
Religion on the forefront of Hong Kong’s protests
On June 11th, the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong issued an appeal to the government requesting the government not pass the Extradition Bill “hurriedly before adequately addressing the queries and worries of the legal sector and of the general public.”
Not only is this a show of devotion to Jesus in the midst of tumult and political tyranny, but the singing of this worship song also offers the community a level of immunity, thanks to a Hong Kong law of public assembly that makes exceptions for religious gatherings.
In these volatile days of Chinese agents, facial recognition and mass arrests, this protection is a welcome comfort for the Christian community, who not only stand in unity with their fellow protesters but also solidarity with the much-persecuted Christian community back in mainland China.
On Sunday, Melissa Strzala posted another awe-inspiring video on Facebook revealing the ‘Great Awakening’ happening in China.
“The below video is very special to me,” added Strzala. “It gives me chills every time I watch it. Thousands of Hong Kong citizens are singing their Hallelujah anthem in defiance of Communist China. It’s truly a Great Awakening happening in China. It’s exciting!”
Watch the video in full below, and be sure to SHARE it with your friends to rally them around this cause in prayerful support:
Christians make up some 11 per cent of the population but they remain influential, especially among the elite – pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam is herself a devout Catholic.
Hong Kong has about 480,000 Protestants and 380,000 Catholics – including Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Non-Christians have also come to be familiar with Christian culture due to Christian-run schools, hospitals and charitable groups.