The father of a young daughter, Chan encouraged participants to bring their children to the prayer meeting. He said it was important for the next generation to know “what the police have been doing and their wrongdoings.”
Standing with her son, attendee Angela Au, 34, shared with the group that her 4-year-old had seen a sticker with the protest slogan “Fight for Freedom” and asked if the protesters wanted freedom.
“Children see a lot of information in the news every day,” Au said. “As parents, how do we explain to them? … We may not be able to fully explain what’s happening, but I bring my son to this prayer meeting so he can learn in God’s presence. I want us to look to God together.”
The prayer meeting was also a way to let protesters at PolyU know there were people who love them. Chan noted that many protesters come from single-parent homes, and some have families who have given up on them.
Over inside the PolyU campus, a masked protester spoke with reporters, saying he had come to the school, where his friend was a student, to help out with cleaning for the protesters. But once police surrounded the school, he was stuck. He remained because he felt the minute he stepped off the campus, police would arrest him, even though he didn’t do anything wrong, he said.
When asked if his parents knew where he was after he’d gone missing for a few days, he responded, “My family definitely doesn’t know. … We don’t live together. Our relationship isn’t very good.”
Hong Kong police ended the siege of PolyU on Nov. 29 after sweeps of the 23-acre campus revealed all the protesters had left.
—This story has been updated to correct the name of the area where Hong Kong Polytechnic University is located.
The proportions of Americans and Canadians with a negative view of China have jumped sharply in the past year, reaching the highest levels since the Pew Research Center began tracking such info. According to the center’s latest poll, 60 percent of Americans hold an unfavorable opinion of China, up from 47 percent in 2018. But opinion was divided among the 34 countries Pew surveyed: In Russia, 71 percent of poll respondents viewed China favorably. —Daniel James Devine