The journey of vigils to overcome homophobia in Italy, Spain, France, Malta, Netherlands and the Poland
The May 17th, marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia – a day recognised by the European Union and the United Nations – celebrated worldwide to commemorate the victims of homo-transphobic violence and promote events that raise public awareness.
This year, numerous Christian communities (Waldensians, Catholics, Methodists, Baptists…) “keep vigil in prayer with groups of homosexual believers to remember the victims of homophobia and break the wall of silence that exists in society and in churches on this subject“, united by the verse “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me” (Matthew 10:40)”.
The impact of violence related to sexual orientation in Italy is far from negligible: in view of the 2023 Day, the portal Cronache di Ordinaria Omofobia (omofobia.org) has released data on cases of homophobia in Italy for the period between April 2022 and March 2023. The annual report, compiled by Massimo Battaglio (analyst and promoter of the omofobia.org project), speaks of 115 homophobic incidents reported in Italy in the reporting period, affecting 165 victims in 62 locations (more information here)
The experience of anti-homotransphobia vigils is spreading like wildfire: “This year they began in a parish in Montesilvano (Pescara- Italy) on May 5th,” reads a note from the Gionata.org portal on faith and homosexuality, “and will take place throughout the month in many cities in Italy, Spain, France, Malta, the Netherlands and Poland, concluding on June 7th with the vigil in Cosenza (Italy), which will also be attended by Giovanni Checchinato, Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cosenza-Bisignano“.
The Gionata.org portal provides detailed information on the vigils promoted this May, collects the adhesions and disseminates the information of communities intending to organise similar events (email: email@example.com).
> Liturgy for the Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (May 17, 2023) Prepared by the Faith Gender Sexuality Commission of the Baptist, Methodist and Waldensian Churches (Italy) and by REFO (File PDF)