News | Law and Order
19 Jul 2019 5:18
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • Crime.co.nz
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > Law and Order

    Hong Kong Christians turn 'Sing Hallelujah to the Lord' into unlikely protest anthem

    The fear of police brutality loomed over Hong Kong's uprising this week. But when Christians broke out in song, a legal loophole was triggered and an unlikely protest anthem was born.


    Over four balmy nights outside Hong Kong's main government building, 28-year-old Freeman Leung sat on the ground among fellow Christians and sang a hymn over and over.

    It was the same hymn that Christians in the Chinese territory had been singing for the past two weeks.

    Sometimes they were joined by non-believers at protest rallies both large and small.

    "Christians started turning up at protests to sing 'Sing Hallelujah To The Lord' in case there was the chance of violence when police wanted to disperse protesters," Mr Leung said.

    "But once they started singing, everyone became calm."

    Hong Kong's recent protests have waxed and waned between extraordinary street marches of up to 2 million people and days where barely 100 people turned up.

    But throughout it all, the same 1970s American Easter hymn has been resonating through the demonstration sites.

    The unlikely protest anthem has even been embraced by non-religious protesters.

    "It's a very simple hymn, everyone can sing it," said Edwin Chow, the chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students.

    Christian groups are not taking credit for the uprising against a proposed bill which would have allowed Hong Kong citizens to be sent to mainland China for trial.

    But Christian demonstrators have had a constant presence, which some other demonstrators likened to protection.

    "Some non-Christians have been singing 'Hallelujah' too because in Hong Kong, a religious gathering can't be deemed by police as an illegal assembly," Mr Chow said.

    "Through singing the hymn, you can see it helps protect other demonstrators."

    Hong Kong's Christians fear extradition to the mainland

    Religious groups in Hong Kong have extra incentive to oppose the city government's plan to send suspects to face Communist party-controlled courts on the mainland.

    China's constitution supposedly safeguards religious freedom.

    But the Communist Party has launched sporadic crackdowns on churches, including a series of demolitions in recent years carried out by local governments across China.

    Many of the country's top human rights dissidents are Christians, including prominent jailed lawyer Wang Quanzhang and the exiled activist Chen Guangcheng.

    Political leaders on the mainland must eschew signs of religious beliefs to affirm their atheist credentials.

    Other religious groups — particularly Muslims in the country's far-west — have been the subject of highly expansive government campaigns aimed at ensuring the loyalty of believers is with the Communist Party first.

    In Hong Kong there have long been links between the pro-democracy activists and in particular the Catholic Church, which has a decades-long unresolved dispute with China's Government over the right to ordain bishops.

    The city's most prominent young political activist, Joshua Wong, is a devout Christian, as are many older members of the pan-democratic camp.

    "Some Christians, including me, are afraid that if the extradition bill is passed, it could affect freedom of religion in Hong Kong and freedom of religious activities," Mr Chow said.

    He believes it is this fear that has mobilised a larger-than-normal turn-out among the city's Christians, who number around 900,000 — or about 12 per cent of the population.

    But there have been rumblings among some younger protesters that church leaders, particularly Protestants, have refrained from adding their voices to the movement because they are too close to the pro-Beijing establishment.

    Lina Chan from the Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese said churches are divided over what role they should take.

    "Some believe they should be taking a leading role, but others think they should be more balanced and non-political," Ms Chan said.

    "On this issue, there have been more people urging the church to be active and speak up."

    One of the Protestant churches in the city that organised prayer events was Hong Kong's Methodist Church, which opened its doors late for protesters who wanted to rest.

    "In the past, a lot of people say we Christians just hid ourselves in the church, but actually we are quite involved and quite concerned about the things happening in our society," said Douglas Lee, one of the event organisers.

    He believes the past few weeks have been an awakening — even for believers who usually shy away from politics.

    "Some people believe we Christians shouldn't be involved in politics, but what we care about is the people themselves," he said.

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


     Other Law and Order News
     18 Jul: Australian writer Yang Hengjun looks set to be charged by Chinese authorities
     18 Jul: An Auckland meth dealer has been ordered to hand over more than 5 million dollars in assets, after a judge decided they were tainted by criminal activity
     18 Jul: The country's second biggest dairy co-op will be handed over to its Chinese buyers next month
     18 Jul: A man has been charged with the murder of a two-year-old girl in Little Waihi in March
     18 Jul: Victim advocacy groups are delighted by a push they say would protect children from convicted sex offenders
     18 Jul: A teenager is one of two people arrested after a shooting in south Auckland earlier this month
     18 Jul: The Warehouse is recalling 11 types of Milazo bikes
     Top Stories

    RUGBY RUGBY
    Vaea Fifita get first crack in the All Blacks troublesome number six jersey this season More...


    BUSINESS BUSINESS
    A healthy cash injection for Invercargill Airport - brings the world closer to Southland More...



     Today's News

    Netball:
    Australia beats New Zealand 50-49 at Netball World Cup in England 4:37

    Business:
    A healthy cash injection for Invercargill Airport - brings the world closer to Southland 4:37

    Business:
    Netflix investors are spooked after the streaming service endured a sluggish quarter 21:57

    International:
    Flight 73 pilots ignored alerts in fatal Air Niugini crash, report finds 21:47

    Entertainment:
    Hayden Panettiere's life is "in flux" 21:39

    Rugby:
    Vaea Fifita get first crack in the All Blacks troublesome number six jersey this season 21:17

    Entertainment:
    Cameron Boyce has been cremated 21:09

    Entertainment:
    Cardi B's baby daughter can climb the stairs 20:39

    International:
    Storm Area 51 is a Facebook joke. There are lots of reasons it's a bad idea 20:37

    Entertainment:
    Joe Jonas is "incredibly proud" of his wife Sophie Turner after she received an Emmy nomination 20:09


     News Search






    Power Search


    © 2019 New Zealand City Ltd