17th May, Vigil of Prayer for Victims of Homophobia
First held in 2007 by the action of Kairos, LGBT Christian group based in Florence, to commemorate a young boy, Matteo, who committed suicide due to homophobic harassement at school, the Vigil of Prayer for Victims of Homophobia has now reached its fourth consecutive edition.
In following years, many cities has joined the initiative, in Europe and in other parts of the world. “In Italy, Vigils have played a key role in raising awareness on LGBT issues within the local churches, in the attempt to constrast the increase of homophobic attacks and mindset emerging also from indipendent social surveys.”
Said Innocenzo, a Gionata.org volounteer “In the first year, only LGBT Christian groups were involved in organising the event, then also waldesians, methodist, oldcatholic and baptist communities started supporting the event officially.
In 2009, also some supportive catholic bishops decided to welcome the Vigil within diocesan churches.”
“This is an important initiative also for reinforcing the mutual trust and for joining resources amongst different LGBT Christian groups in different cities and countries” said Fabio, another Gionata.org volunteer “For the first time, we all together have helped our churches at the same time, with the same project.
In 2009, we all together sent a message of peace and hope to the churches and the society at large, inspired by the words of John 4:18 “There is no fear in love” ”.
Gionata.org, as communication partner of the event, calls on other groups in Europe and in other parts of the world to join and pray with their communities during the week preceeding May 17th this year, in the memory of people threatened, harassed, even tortured or killed due to sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
During the month of April, we’ll launch a multilanguage space (EN, IT) in our website, to collect all relevant informations and contributions, including the updated list of cities or church communities supporting or organising the event across Europe and in other parts of the world.
For further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org