Catholic and Protestant church leaders joined forces yesterday and called for divine intervention in the fight against the national security bill, promising a Christian campaign for a free and just society. Speaking to an unprecedented gathering of more than 9,000 Christians from different denominations, church leaders prayed and blessed the faithful on the sidelines of the main rally in Victoria Park. Not since the mass protest in Hong Kong against the 1989 pro-democracy crackdown in Beijing's Tiananmen Square have Christians joined hands in such a large-scale event. Singing hymns, waving banners and wearing hats with the message 'march with the lord', the Christians followed the same theme as the main protest in calling on the government to halt the proposed Article 23 legislation. Catholic Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, who has been outspoken against the bill, led the prayer with his Protestant counterparts. Bishop Zen said: 'The holy spirit has sent us to faithfully spread the truth, to bring good news to the poor and tell people not to be enslaved by oppressors. 'We are forced to protest because our views have been ignored, our concerns have been held in contempt. To be true to our conscience, to be able to face our next generation, we cannot stop marching to express our stance. 'Anger in itself is not evil. If we see unjust things happening, we must express this anger.' More than 500 Catholics accompanied Bishop Zen, who said he had not joined the march to avoid problems, to pray for the cause in a nearby church. Reverend Eric So, general-secretary of the Hong Kong Christian Council, said it was the duty of Christians to bring liberty and justice to the people in order to 'build the kingdom of God on Earth'. 'It is our unavoidable duty to bring justice in society. We have to walk out in peace, but have the courage because God is with us in the fight,' he said.