Even this year, as in the past years since 2007, we will be organising a series of prayer vigils and worship services in Christian communities in different cities to remember the victims of homophobia and transphobia. These prayer meetings are to be held on the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) observed annually on 17th May.
The organisation of this year’s prayer meetings began with the choice of the biblical verse for the IDAHOBIT prayer vigils set to take place in many Italian and European cities. The verse chosen for this year’s prayer vigils was that of Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
However, when the COVID 19 pandemic reached us, all religious ceremonies were suspended and the situation grew worse, there was a growing realization that this year, prayer vigils on the occasion of IDAHOBIT could not be held in churches.
Many churches belonging to various denominations, associations, groups of Christian LGBT persons and their parents and other realities concerned with integration and inclusion are currently working on several online prayer initiatives to mark IDAHOBIT. The aim of these vigils and meetings is that of asking ourselves what it means for us today to live the message of the chosen verse (Galatians 3:28) with which Paul urges us to put aside stereotypes and divisions.
We also remind you of the liturgical outlines and guide on the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia drawn up by the ‘Faith and Homosexuality’ Commission of the Baptist, Methodist and Waldensian churches in Italy. The document can be downloaded here.
Other initiatives will be promoted in the coming days while videos, testimonials and infographics will be disseminated on social networks to raise more awareness of this important theme and most pressing issue.
If we are hungry for God, we can pray and receive the strength we need. If we feel overwhelmed and scared, we can find reassurance in God’s embrace. It is not worthless, in these gloomy times. Nothing can set us apart from God’s love – that is the hope of the resurrection.
To join or to find out more about the above-mentioned initiatives, you can visit the following websites www.gionata.org or https://inveglia.wordpress.com/category/english/ or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
So, will you pray with us this year?
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