"The Chinese government is suppressing the Church in mainland China, and so we are worried that when we have communication with the mainland Church, maybe one day the Chinese government will also arrest the Hong Kong people to suppress Hong Kong people," he said.
Though the extradition bill has been withdrawn, the situation in Hong Kong is not over. Demonstrators are calling for the proposal to be definitively withdrawn, and some are demanding Lam’s resignation.
Chow said more than 160,000 students, teachers, and alumni signed a petition against the extradition bill.
The federation had been concerned about the extradition bill since May, and so they started to raise public awareness of the issue by handing out leaflets in early June, Chow said.
The group also organized prayer meetings and Masses near the protest sites in the beginning of June, when the larger protests started.
Chow said the clergy have been very supportive. The Federation invited bishop emeritus Cardinal Joseph Zen to celebrate Mass on June 16, in front of the government headquarters.
Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing has also been very active in going to the protest sites, supporting the young people, and vocally supporting the protestors. Bishop Ha took part in a continuous ecumenical prayer meeting outside the Legislative Council building with thousands of Christians overnight after one rally.
"Other ordinary Catholics, some of the older Catholics, they also join in our activities. So you can see that not only the teenagers are supporting, participating in the whole protest, but the older people, some adults...they also join, they also support the whole protest."
Henry Au, an entrepreneur who serves on the board of directors for the Irish Chamber of Commerce for Hong Hong, is one such older Catholic who has been supporting the movement. He told CNA that although he had only attended two or three of the actual marches, he has been trying to materially support the protestors however he can.
He said older Catholics are less likely to go and march in the street, but they are still able to assist by providing funds to hold Masses and buy protection gear for the protestors.
He said the police will often seize protesters' cell phones and use the photos on them as evidence against them, and telecom companies are helping the government to trace phone numbers. To guard against this, he said older Catholics have bought the protestors portable WiFi hotspots so they can connect without being traced.
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"We don't say the kids are always right...but you shouldn't be using bullets, or even plastic bullets, to shoot their heads," Au said. "They way they are treating the younger generation is totally unacceptable."
He said the protestors have, on the whole, been peaceful and not destructive. On Sept. 1, the students will have to go back to school, he said, so it remains to be seen whether the protests will continue after the summer break ends.
Chow said last week some protestors found that there were undercover policemen within the crowds. The government may use this strategy to create a "sense of terror" so that the protestors no longer trust each other and are divided, he said.
Father Bernardo Cervellera, editor of Asia News, told EWTN News Nightly that Catholic youth are “totally involved” in the protest against the extradition law. He said older people might be less inclined to take part in the protests because of threats of violence.
“These two requests are the main requests of the movement [that] is doing all these demonstrations in Hong Kong,” Cervellera said.
The Chinese government has influenced the government of Hong Kong, Cervellera said, refusing to allow full democracy in the territory and trying to control the education system, which has negatively affected Hong Kong’s economy.