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Hong Kong has been going through turmoil lately as protests have swarmed the country over a controversial bill. The protests have been marked with violence, tear gas, and riot shields.
One protest, though, was able to be a symbol of peace.
On Aug. 23 Christians organized their first large-scale rally in Chater Garden where they sang the song “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” by Linda Lee Stassen-Benjamin.
According to a press release by organizers the motto of the gathering was “Salt and light, for justice we walk together” and was designed to “provide all Christians a platform to express themselves outside the church, hoping people would safeguard Hong Kong by singing, praying, worshiping God and at the same time speaking up for justice and standing together with all the Hongkongers in difficult times.”
While this was the first time they did it on such a large scale, the Christian church has demonstrated at protests before. They proved that you could have a peaceful protest in the midst of anger and fighting.
“It has a calming effect,” Timothy Lam, 58, a Catholic priest at Grace Church Hong Kong, told Fox News in June. “The police had a lot of equipment, they were very tense and searching people. The students sang this to show they were peaceful.”
If enacted, the 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 force Hong Kong under the jurisdiction of mainland China, thus restricting citizens’ rights. They believe widespread religious persecution in the communist nation could seep into Hong Kong and drive the church underground.
Melissa Strzala, one of the protesters, posted a powerful video of the movement.
The unofficial anthem of Hong Kong’s anti-extradition movement is ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord,’ she wrote. “The underground church is coming out of hiding in China. It’s truly amazing. We are watching history in the making.”