Protesters marching in Hong Kong to fight an extradition law are singing a simple worship song as they face a hated tyrannical giant.
“Sing Hallelujah to the Lord," a praise chorus penned in the 1970s, has caught on an as unofficial theme of the ongoing protests, which began in early June when the public learned Hong Kong officials were cooperating with their communist bosses in mainland China.
Crowds estimated at two million have taken to the streets, pushing back against the proposed law that will give China more authority to pluck politicians, businessmen, and religious leaders off the street.
“People are protesting because they don't want one of their loved ones hauled off --- snatch and grab, basically --- taking them to the mainland in China and dealing with them in Beijing,” advises
singer-songwriter Mark Tedder.
Tedder, is who lives in Colorado, has traveled the world as a worship leader and can name Hong Kong congregations he has worked with: a Presbyterian church, a Lutheran church, and several nondenominational churches on the island.
“All of these churches,” he says, “are starting to unify their people in concerted prayer for the city.”
Hong Kong was handed over to China from Great Britain in 1997, but the island of 7 million now in communist hands is famously known as a financial powerhouse that is also one of the world’s most free economies.
China, meanwhile, famous for cheap goods and slave labor, fails to tolerate open dissent of its authoritarian government to the point that is censored streaming access to a Hong Kong protest song in 2014.
A 19-year-old protester told the BBC that the hymn began with a group of Christians singing the song throughout the night on June 11 and it was picked up by others because it was short and easy to sing.
The protests turned violent and deadly the following day, when police began using tear gas and rubber bullets.
According to Tedder, Hong Kong’s churches have asked people to “prayer-walk” across the city during the protests.
“And they're seeing this as a unifying effort across the city to bring the churches together, which has been a beautiful thing,” he says.