Gionata, an Italian network focussed on questions of homosexuality and faith, has announced that a series of vigils will be held on May 17th, in various Italian cities, to remember the victims of hate crimes. Participants will connect with the theme “There is no fear in love”! (1 Jn 4, 18). Gionata’s English language press release, explaining the events and calling out for similar actions, now follows:
In front of such gratuitous violence against homosexuals, and considering the ear-piercing silence of the world; as Christians coming from different confessions and progress of faith, we believe that it is in our duty to give some concrete answer, obviously, we won’t keep silent.
That is why on May 17th we will meet together in several cities of Italy (Rome, Florence, Milan, Naples, Palermo, …) to hold many vigils of prayer to remember the victims of homophobia and to smash in, through our testimony, the wall of silence and embarrassment that usually prevails in our churches and our society about this heavy problem.
On May 17th Catholics, Old Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, etc…: we will meet together in our churches, in our communities, in our houses to launch a yell of hope, in order that all these things come to an end. In this spirit we invite all believers to start vigils of prayer in their communities as a signal of hope.
On May 17th , you too may organize a vigil together with your friends, your group of believers, your family, your community, in your church or house a vigil on the 17 of May in order to share this hope with the others. It is up to you, as Christians, to decide whether it is time to break your silence or not.
The IDAHO Committee invites “all progressive religious voices to use the Day to take whatever action they feel appropriate. We invite all to share information about their plans, so we can share this with the rest of the world and connect like-minded people together, create more momentum, and show the world how vibrant and diverse we are”.
The vigils of prayer to remember the victims of homophobia will be organized in Italy with the support of Gionata, the Italian Project on Faith and Homosexuality, and in Europe with the support of the European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Christian Groups and the IDAHO committee team.
A English language guide-text for the vigils, which may be of inspiration to others, can be downloaded from: Vigil for the remembrance of the victims of homophobia (file pdf).
More information can also be found (in Italian) at the Gionata site.
For further information on the IDAHO Global Prayer Initiative in general, please contact Zara via firstname.lastname@example.org.