HONG KONG – Midnight oil

World | June Cheng in Hong Kong | Aug. 29, 2019


On a stiflingly hot August night, about 100 Christians gathered outside the Government House, the official residence of Hong Kong’s chief executive. Holding plastic LED candles and led by a youthful worship band, they sang a Cantonese hymn based on Amos 5:24.

“Let righteousness run down like a never-failing stream / Justice like a river / God does not only reside in the Temple / He shows compassion to the oppressed / God’s tabernacle is among the people.”

Rather than facing an altar, the worshippers faced a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. Behind it, Chief Executive Carrie Lam may or may not have been listening. Around the tree-covered Government Hill, police officers watched over the quarters. The event organizers did not know if Lam was at home that night, but they hoped the professing Catholic would hear their songs.

The worshippers prayed for peace in Hong Kong, for the injustices in society, for injured and arrested protesters, and for the country’s leaders to walk in wisdom and God’s will. Around 9:30 p.m. they walked down the hill singing “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord,” an unofficial anthem of the city’s ongoing pro-democracy protests.

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