As record numbers demonstrate in the streets of Hong Kong to protest a proposed extradition law and the mainland Chinese government, a Christian song penned in 1974 has become an “unofficial anthem.”
Christian groups in the autonomous territory in southeastern China of approximately 7.4 million people — a former British colony — have been singing “Sing Hallelujah To The Lord” by Linda Stassen-Benjamin while protesting and marching in the streets. The song, which is catchy and simple in melody, is popular around the world and has been translated into many languages.
The demonstrators have also been protesting against police brutality. The authorities apparently have a distaste for the Christian song, as evidenced by one sign a protester carried, which reads: “Stop Using Baton Or We Sing Hallelujah To The Lord.” Numerous clips of protesters singing the hymn have been posted to Twitter and other social media.
Approximately 2 million protesters have taken to the streets to express their opposition over a proposed law that would send suspected criminals to be extradited to mainland China to be prosecuted and to demand that China-backed Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam resign.
Reports indicate that although further action on the contested extradition law has been suspended though not completely scrapped, the protesters, many of whom are young, are continuing to push back. Demonstrators fear the Chinese government will employ the proposed law to target and effectively silence their critics.
In addition to the Christian hymn, the protesters have being singing “Do you hear the people sing” from the musical “Les Miserables.”
The presence of Christians and others singing “on the front lines of the protests were helpful in making the demonstrations look more like an outdoor worship service rather than the ‘organized riots’ the government said it had to crack down on to bring back law and order,” Shanghaiist noted Sunday, calling the 1974 song the “unofficial anthem” of the uprising.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter