Press Release from Progetto Gionata, May 12, 2014
It was 2007. The latest teen had committed suicide after being constantly bullied by classmates who decided he was gay. The Kairos group of LGBT Christians in Florence launched a plea to “remember all victims of homophobia and transphobia, who often go unnamed, with public prayers.”
This is how these prayer vigils and Sunday worship services began. For the past eight years, these initiatives have been held in Italy and worldwide on or near May 17th, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). This is a call to prayer for groups of gay Christians, different Protestant and Catholic churches. They are united by Paul’s invitation to “Accept one another, just as Christ accepted you.”
From Monday May 12th to Friday June 6th 2014, a series of prayer vigils and Sunday worship services will be held in various Italian and European cities.
The first will be on May 12th in a Catholic parish in Bologna, followed by other parishes in Florence, Catania, Palermo, Milan, Genoa, Pistoia and Padua.
Methodist churches in Parma, Padova, Trieste will hold gatherings; Baptist communities in Turin and Grosseto will be participating; as will Waldensian Churches in Milan, Naples, Turin, Florence, Palermo and Rome. Churches in Liverpool (England), Lisbon and Porto (Portugal), Seville and Barcelona (Spain), Mdina (Malta) and Amsterdam (The Netherlands) have organized events.
The final event will be held on June 6th at the church of St. Gerolamo with a prayer vigil presided over by the bishop of the Catholic diocese of Cremona.
Over 26 different Christian communities will launch their cry against the violence of homophobia and transphobia because “when life becomes prayer and prayer speaks of life, then only good things can happen, things that are stronger than any sort of discrimination.”
These prayer vigils against homophobia are promoted in Italy by Gionata, the Italian Commission on Faith and homosexuality and in Europe with the support of the European Forum of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups.
CITIES HOSTING PRAYER VIGILS AND SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA (in progress)
MONDAY MAY 12
BOLOGNA (Italy). Prayer vigil for victims of homophobia and all types of discrimination at 9:00pm in the S. Bartolomeo della Beverara Catholic church in Via Della Beverara 86. Organized by Noi siamo chiesa Emilia Romagna.
THURSDAY MAY 15
FLORENCE (Italy). Ecumenical prayer vigil in remembrance of victims of homophobia and transphobia. Madonna della Tosse Parish Church, Largo Adone Zoli 1 at 9pm. Prayers to stop homophobic violence and build spaces in our society and in our churches that unconditionally welcoming Others. This vigil has been organized by the Kairos Group Christians GLBT of Florence along with other Christian communities and associations of good will.
INFO Facebook Event> https://www.facebook.com/events/746154202073248/?ref=22
PALERMO (Italy). Vigil to overcome homophobia and transphobia at 8:30pm. Starting at Waldensian Church in via Spezio no. 45, followed by candlelight walk to Catholic parish of SS. Pietro e Paolo in via Bentivegna 62.
Organized by: Ali d’aquila – LGBT Christians of Palermo; Community of San Francesco Saverio; Catholic parish of S. Gabriele Arcangelo; Laici Missionari Comboniani ; Waldensian Church of Via Spezio, Palermo ; Waldensian Church of Trapani & Marsala; Lutheran Church ; Kairòs Community ; Parish of SS. Pietro e Paolo.
FRIDAY MAY 16
PADUA (Italy). Prayer vigil in remembrance of victims of homophobia at 8.45pm in Santa Caterina d’Alessandri Church, Via Cesare Battisti 245. Organized by ‘Emmanuele’ gay Christian group of Padua. INFO> Poster PDF
PARMA (Italy).Prayer vigil in remembrance of victims of homophobia, Methodist Church of Parma, in Borgo Giacomo Tommasini corner of Borgo Riccio at7:00pm. Organized by Methodist Community of Parma with the help of a group of gay Christians.
ROME (Italy). Prayer vigil in memory of victims of homophobia and transphobia at 7:30pm in piazza SS. Apostoli (in front of the Basilica dei SS. Apostoli). Organized by groups of Christians LGBT: Nuova Proposta, La Sorgente and REFO.
SEVILLE (Spain). Prayer Vigil for a world without homophobia (Vigilia por un mundo sin homofobia) at 9:30pm at Casa Estudio Chejov. Plaza del Pelícano nº4 Local 10, Barrio de San Julian, 41003 Seville. Organized by Ichthys, LGBT Christian community in Seville, with the participation of the Brotes Olivog group.
SATURDAY MAY 17
AMSTERDAM (The Netherlands). Prayer vigil against homophobia and transphobia in De Oranjekerk Church on Van der Helststraat street 1-3 at 8:30pm. Pastors Jantine Heuvelink and Wielie Elhorst. Performance by the Oranjekerk Cantorij choir led by Anne Franks Mart with organist Jos van der Bijl. INFO> Poster
BORGO PRIOLO (Pavia – Italy). Prayer vigil in remembrance of victims of homophobia organized by La Fonte Group of Milan at the OASI ROSA MISTICA Center in Località Torrazzetta, Borgo Priolo (Province of Pavia).
CATANIA (Italy). Ecumenical prayer vigil for victims of homophobia at 9:00 pm in the SS. Crocifisso della Buona Morte Catholic parish chruch in Piazza Falcone.
Organized by gay Christian group Fratelli dell’Elpis and parish community of SS. Crocifisso.
COLCHESTER (England) Vigil for victims of homo/transphobia at 4:00pm at University of Essex Chaplaincy Centre. Organized by Progressive Christians – University of Essex (love, not dogma). INFO> Evento Facebook
LISBON (Portugal). Prayer vigil for victims of homophobia (Momento de Partilha Vigília de Oração). Welcome at 6:00pm, Sharing at 6:15pm, Prayer Vigil at 7:30pm in Catholic Chapel at the Convent of Dominican Sisters (Azinhaga Frade, Lumiar)
INFO Facebook Event> https://www.facebook.com/events/625905494154169/
MDINA (Malta). Dracma LGBT e Dracma Parents Support Group mark the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) and their own 10 year anniversary by celebrating Eucharist and prayer vigil at the Catholic Church of the Carmelites in Mdina (Old capital of Malta).
Mass will be celebrated by Mons. Charles Scicluna, Auxiliary bishop of Malta, with many priests who have helped him over the years in offering pastoral care to the Maltese gay community. Malta’s highest religious and civil authorities have been invited. INFO> Poster
PINEROLO (Turin – Italy). Prayer vigil or victims of homophobia and transphobia at 5:00pm at ARCI in Stradale Baudenasca 17. Organized by La Scala di Giacobbe group of Pinerolo. INFO> Poster
PORTO (Portugal). Prayers for brothers and sisters who are victims of homophobia all over the world (Partilha e oração pelos irmãos e irmãs vítimas de homofobia, em todo mundo), at 5:00pm at the Nostra Signora da Boavista Parish Church (Foco), Rua Azevedo Coutinho 103.
ROME (Italy). To mark the International Day against Homophobia, Prayer Service at 5:00pm & Concert at 8:00pm at the Waldensian Church in Piazza Cavour 32.
TURIN (Italy).Sunday worship service to commemorate the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. At 6.30pm in the Waldensian Temple located in corso Principe Oddone 7. The Waldensian church and the via Passalacqua Baptist church will be meeting together at the corso Principe Oddone 7 church to celebrate the service together.
TRIESTE (Italy). Prayer Vigil for victims of homophobia, Methodist Church in Scala dei Giganti, 1 (near piazza Goldoni) in Trieste. At 7:30pm doors open for welcoming and at 8:30pm beginning of prayer vigil. Organized by Progetto Ruah of Trieste. INFO> Poster > Press Release
SUNDAY MAY 18
FLORENCE (Italy) . Interdenominational Sunday worship service for victims of homophobia and transphobia hosted by Waldensians and Old Catholics at the Waldensian Church of Florence at 10.30am in via Micheli corner of via Lamarmora.
Organized by ecumenical group “Fiumi d’Acqua Viva – pace, giustizia e salvaguardia del Creato” and with the participation of Kairos Catholic group.
GROSSETO (Italy). Sunday morning worship service in remembrance of victims of homophobia and transphobia at 11.00am in Grosseto Baptist Church di in via Piave 17. Organized by Claudia Angeletti
LIVERPOOL (England). Sunday worship service to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) at 6:30pm in St Bride Anglican Church in Percy Street. It will be a time of prayer and hope in the future as we light a candle for victims of homophobia and transphobia.
INFO Facebook Event> https://www.facebook.com/stbridesliverpool
MILAN (Italy). Sunday morning worship service in observance of the International Day against Homophobia at 10.45am in the Waldensian Church of Milan on Via Francesco Sforza 12/a. Pastor Dorothee Mack. Organized by the Varco-Refo Group Milan.
NAPLES (Italy). Vigil in memory of victims of homophobia at 6:00pm in Waldensian Temple on via Duomo 275 at the corner of via dei Cimbri. Organized by gay Christian group Ponti Sospesi along with other communities, associations and Christian groups in the city.
PADUA (Italy). Sunday workshop service “There is no fear in love” (1 John 4:18) to mark the International Day against Homophobia at 11:00 in the Methodist Church of Padua in Corso Milano 6.
MONDAY MAY 19
BARCELONA (Spain). IDAHO Prayer vigil at 8.00pm in the Catholic Sanctuary Mare de Deu DE L’AJUDA, Sant Pere. Organized by ACGIL (Associació Cristiana de Gais, Lesbianes, Bisessuali i Transessuali de Catalunya).
TUESDAY MAY 20
GENOA (Italy). Prayer vigil for victims of HomoTransphobia at 6:30pm at the catholic parish of San Benedetto al Porto in via San Benedetto. Organized by Bethel group of LGBT believers in Liguria.
THURSDAY MAY 22
MILAN (Italy). Prayer vigil for victims of HomoTransphobia at 9:00pm at the San Gabriele Church in Via Termopili (MM1 Pasteur). Organized by Il Guado group.
INFO Facebook Event> https://www.facebook.com/events/632274456862036
FRIDAY JUNE 6
CREMONA (Italy). Vigil for victims of discrimination at S. Gerolamo Catholic Church in Piazza Duomo at 9pm. Organized by Querce di Mamre group, which is a Diocese ministry group for gay people
A Sunday worship service will also be held in LIVORNO (Italy). Day and time to be announced.