As pro-democracy rallies continue in Hong Kong, churches are urging congregations to pray for those that are protesting, as well as law enforcement officers that are patrolling the rallies.
The Vine, an international church with a branch in Hong Kong only blocks from the protests, has opened up its doors to be a place of rest and prayer for those involved.
Senior pastor Andrew Gardener said, "As a church we felt that our response should be to have a response. We feel passionate about justice, it sits at the heart of God and we feel God has been stirring it in our hearts over the years, so our building is open as a place of refuge for anybody that needs it...we want to make sure we're open for anybody in need.”
Gardener says that Christians should respond to the proceedings first with prayer. "We feel very strongly that we have to be doing something, and it begins with prayer. Prayer may not be our only response, but it should be the loudest,” he said.
The protests are against the Chinese government’s policy on screening political candidates, ensuring their allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party, Christian Today reports.
Political science professor Joseph Cheng said that many Christians support the protest because "Christians by nature are anticommunist, as the Communist party are atheist and the tolerance for Christians under the Communist regime is extremely limited. Also, Christians believe in the next world, and so are more willing ...