As protests in Hong Kong rage on, a ragtag group of Christians is stepping into the violence, hoping to bring just a glimmer of peace to the situation.
Under the leadership of pastor Roy Chan, members of Good Neighbor North District Church convene every day and head out to the frontlines of the upheaval currently ravaging Hong Kong’s streets as protesters calling for democracy clash with police and other citizens.
Chan’s goal, he told the BBC, is “to go out and guard the children.”
“During this period [of protests], our church started the Protect the Children operation,” Chan explained. “We wear these yellow vests and fan out to different protest locations. Where there is conflict, we try to meditate, either between citizens and protesters or between protesters and police.”
“As a Christian,” he added, “this is what I can do for society, for God.”
While their overarching goal is certainly to spread peace, one of their immediate intentions is to protect young children from getting hurt. “Beat us, don’t beat the kids,” Chan pleaded.
According to the minister, each morning, the volunteers who show up split into groups of seven and disperse throughout the city. They then form “human chains” in hopes of slowing police advancement and violent confrontations. The group is made up of parents, older church members, and teenagers “all working together,” Chan explained.
Christians have played a big role in the protests in Hong Kong.
In late August, pro-democracy demonstrators made headlines when, amongst all the violence, Christian protesters began singing the 1974 hymn, “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord.”
Over time, the song sort of became an anthem not only of worship, but solidarity with freedom-loving Hong Kongers.
Please continue to be in prayer for Hong Kong, for the pro-democracy demonstrators, for the believers seeking religious freedom, and for those in authority.