• Hongkongers Now Openly Worshiping God as Protests Continue

    Surge Summary: As demonstrations continue in Hong Kong, some Hong Kong protesters are gathering and singing worship songs in defiance of increasing Chinese oppression.

    For those laboring under the delusion that the only thing the Christian church is good for is preparing once or twice a week religious gatherings and hosting the occasional covered-dish supper, the Body of Christ in Hong Kong is hard at work to dispel that misapprehension …

    Faithwire’s Will Maule reports:

    For weeks now, pro-democracy demonstrators have been mounting a mass resistance against China’s Communist rule in Hong Kong – and now, the region’s Christian community has started do its part in the national protest.

    Amongst the throes of tear gas, rubber bullets, and riot shields, a sweet melody of worship can be heard echoing through the city’s central district. Gathering in peace and prayer, thousands of Christian protestors can often be heard belting out the 1974 hymn, “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord.”

    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.

    Recall, this conflict in the “Pearl of the Orient” has constituted a period of ongoing menace: protestors can face Chinese agents, facial recognition and mass arrests. This “religious gathering” allowance of Hong Kong’s law is a welcome comfort for the Christian community. It grants them opportunity to not only stand in unity with their fellow protesters but also publicly show support with their Jesus-following brethren who are enduring deepeningly vicious persecution back in mainland China.

    A little over two weeks ago, some protesting Hongkongers openly waved the American flag and sang the U.S.’s national anthem. More recently, they are coming together and openly worshipping God.

    Last Friday [August 23], thousands upon thousands of believers gathered in Chater Garden for the first political rally organized by the Christian community. According to Religion News Service, the central motto of the gathering was “Salt and light, for justice we walk together.”

    This would have been a reference to the Gospel of Matthew 5:13-16 where Jesus declared to His followers part of their heaven-mandated mission:

    You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

    You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

    Salt is an ancient preservative, retarding decay and waste. Light, of course, is a universal symbol of illumination. The church as “salt” and “light” in the world — that’s how God views His people; how He views His church in embattled Hong Kong.

    An accompanying press release to the event described its aim as helping to “provide all Christians a platform to express themselves outside the church, hoping people would safeguard Hong Kong by singing, praying, worshipping God and at the same time speaking up for justice and standing together with all the Hongkongers in difficult times.”

    China continues to stay mum on what’s ahead, how it will respond to these political protests. It’s also indicated no plans to scrap the extradition bill that initially ignited the crisis. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, has pledged she was “not accepting the demands” of protesters who demand its full withdrawl.

    “We have to say ‘no’ to violence, end the chaotic situation with law enforcement,” she added, according to the Guardian. “We will not give up on the platform for dialogue.”

    In recent weeks, troubling numbers of military vehicles and troops have been moving into the China/Hong Kong border. While this has intensified concerns, no major offensive has taken place against the protestors.

    H/T Will Maule/Faithwire

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    Image: Screen Shot: https://twitter.com/alessabocchi/status/1164887032004526080

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