During several weeks of demonstrations in Hong Kong, Christians could be heard singing “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” by Linda Stassen-Benjamin while protesting and marching in the streets. “Sing Hallelujah” became the unofficial anthem for those fighting an extradition bill that would send criminal suspects to communist China for prosecution.
Hong Kong Christians have no doubt that the Chinese government would use the proposed law to target and silence their critics. There have been widespread reports of the Chinese government intensifying its efforts to rid the mainland of Christian symbols such as removing crosses from churches and demolishing “unregistered” places of worship.
After the intense demonstrations and calls for her resignation, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said she would suspend the bill. However, many believe it is just a matter of time before it will be brought forward again. China Aid reports that, “many experts believe it would allow China easier access to dissidents to the Chinese Communist Party, who have enjoyed relative freedom and protection under Hong Kong’s laws. China, on the other hand, routinely imprisons, tortures, and sometimes even kills those who disagree with its policies.”
Prominent Christian activist, 22-year-old Joshua Wong was one of the most visible faces of the demonstration. Recently released from serving a two-month prison sentence, Wong vowed to continue to fight for protecting freedom in Hong Kong.
In an earlier interview, Wong told WORLD Magazine, “As Christians, we are not only responsible for preaching the gospel and then waiting to go to heaven when we die. We need to be bringing heaven down to earth. That seems like a totally idealistic dream, but if we want that dream to come true, how should we let people know that as Christians we don’t focus only on trying to increase our salaries and better our careers? We ask, how can we do more for the people around us?”
Previously, many people viewed Christians as detached and unconcerned about the issues facing Hong Kong society. As a result of these few weeks of protest, there has been an increase in respect for Christians and other protestors wanting to go back to church.
The Bible is replete with admonitions that we should expect to suffer for our faith (Matthew 24:42-22; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Peter 3:3-4). Therefore, let us pray for the continued perseverance of Christians in China, both Hong Kong and mainland. Pray that the Lord would continue to strengthen them and allow their faith to serve as a beacon to others.