In the week before this year’s International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHOT) on May 17th, numerous prayer vigils in remembrance of victims of homophobia will once again be held in several Italian cities, as well as in various other countries in Europe and South America.
This initiative involves an increasing number of gay Christian groups, various Christian communities (Catholics, Waldensians and Baptists) and many organizations or church groups from several Italian cities. As a result, relationships between gay Christians and Christian churches have been strengthened and grown deeper, producing positive results.In 2007, 13 groups answered the call, and last year there were 22 vigils held in Italy.
For the first time, ecumenical vigils for victims of homophobia also took place in Spain (in Madrid, Bilbao, Murcia, Valencia, Ciudad Real and La Coruna), in some South American cities and in Munich, Germany.
It’s also important to realize that something is changing in the Catholic Church. In 2010, for the first time, vigils were held in Catholic parish churches in 6 Italian cities – and among these, in a parish church in Cremona Bishop Dante Lanfranconi attended the celebration and read his homily.
Over the years, the prayer vigil experience has been positive. It has shown that, even if only a few people respond at first, you mustn’t stop knocking on the door.
Do you remember the bothersome friend the Holy Writ talks about? All you need is a bit of patience and goodwill, always bearing in mind that you don’t want to persuade others or take over the world, but only try to share your hope.
If we have done this, then others can too! So, this year again we will manage to get together in prayer in our city. Whether the group is small or large, it will be a great result nonetheless.
We will try to show that the church doesn’t leave out the gay Christians in our city.
In spite of everything, the church or better yet the churches are present. It is important to remember that God says, “Do not call anyone impure or unclean”. [Acts 10:28]
As the organizers say, “If you join us in prayer, a sign of hope will grow stronger and more meaningful, and we’ll be able to lay firm foundations for a future where gays and lesbians will be warmly welcome in churches.”
Prayer vigils in remembrance of victims of homophobia will be held 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.
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THE SIGN> THE VERSE VIGILS OF PRAYER TO REMEMBER THE VICTIMS OF HOMOPHOBIA & TRANSPHOBIA
Year 2018> John 8:32 – The truth will make you free
Year 2017> Romans 12:14 – Give blessing and not curses to those who are cruel to you.
Year 2016> John 13:35 – By this it will be clear to all men that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another
Year 2015> Psalm 139:14 – I praise you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders. My soul knows it very well
Year 2014> Romans, 15:7 – Accept one another just as Christ accepted you
Year 2013> 1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love!
Year 2012> 1 John 2:9 – Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness
Year 2011> Acts 10:28 – God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean
Year 2010> Romans 8:35 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Year 2009> John 4:18 – There is no fear in love
Year 2008> Martin Luther King – I have a dream
Year 2007> 2 Corinthians 5:17 – the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new