As protests in Hong Kong escalate, a church began a group that stands between the police and children as "sacrifices" and mediators.

Roy Chan, Pastor of Good Neighbour North District church, started gathering volunteers for a project called 'Protect the Children' made up of primarily Christians. He believes they have a "self-sacrificing spirit" and would rather the officers beat them than the children.

The mass Hong Kong protests sparked by the proposed extradition bill in February 2019 have not subsided. Due to the growing number of incidents, Chan was inspired to act for the sake of young protestors. He told BBC, "As Christians when we see an unjust situation we have to go out and guard the children." 

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Each day the group, which includes mothers, fathers, and even the elderly, hold hands and create human chains to protect and mediate between protestors, citizens, and police at times of conflict. The team wears yellow vests, split into groups of seven, and attempt to stop the police from advancing on the protestors. 

According to Chan, fear is not an option. "As a Christian, this is what I can do for the society, for God," Chan says to BBC. 

"We have one principle: we wish Hong Kongers to not hurt Hong Kongers and the policemen are Hong Kongers too, they have parents too," Chan continued.

Their work is getting more dangerous, volunteers have been pepper-sprayed and beaten by police and yet one 83-year-old volunteer continues to participate. During the protests gunshots, screams, and crowds chanting  'gangsters, gangsters' echo on the streets. 

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The groups of seven are not always able to protect victims in larger violence scenarios where vendettas fuel the crowds. They are witnessing and experiencing altercations right at the start of protests making it difficult to mediate. 

Chan believes there is hope and that their work can be more effective as more volunteers join the movement.