This weekend at Mass we had a talk on the work of Aid to the Church in Need by local organiser Mike Collins. Mike has been here before but he came to remind us of the work of ACN and give us an update on the work they do. Our parish project is helping Argentinian sisters working in Egypt so we have a close link with ACN. All this reminded me that I`d not mentioned the Night of Witness organised for this Thursday in London. Mike told us that in the world today every five minutes a Christian is killed for their faith .
Here are the details for this Thursday:
Will you join with us and persecuted Christians around the world as we come 'Together in Faith' this May?Our Night of Witness aims to bring religious freedom to the forefront of public debate and give a voice to millions of suffering Christians around the world.
As attacks against Christians – and Christianity itself – become more prevalent, please help us to give a voice to the persecuted Church.
Taking our lead from Pope Benedict XVI, we are hosting a public witness event at Westminster Cathedral and on the cathedral piazza, to:
- Give a voice to Christians and others persecuted for their faith
- Remind society of the gift of religious liberty
- Call on the government to make religious freedom a diplomatic priority
Guests who have agreed to take part in the Night of Witness include:NB We regret that Monsignor Roko Taban Mousa from Sudan will no longer be able to join us.
- Archbishop Joseph Coutts from Pakistan
- Bishop Joannes Zakaria from Egypt
- Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton
- Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster – greeting participants on the piazza
- British Pakistani Christian Association
- Iraqi Christians in Need
- Priests and faithful from Iraq, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Lithuania
Performers on the Night of Witness include:
- Catholic band ooberfuse, winners of the World Youth Day 2011 global song contest
- Eliot Smith Dance Company debuting new piece Persecuted and Forgotten
- Singer Helen Munt
- West End Gospel Choir
- Urdu Christian musician Hammad Baily
- Catholic poet Sarah de Nordwall
Programme for the Night of WitnessPlease join us for all or part of this inspiring evening:
5.30pm Sung Mass to remember the modern-day martyrs to the Faith, concelebrated by Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi, Pakistan, Bishop Joannes Zakaria of Luxor, Egypt, and Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton.
6.30pm Rally for Religious Freedom on the cathedral piazza, celebrating our faith through speeches, music, drama, dance, poetry and film, with groups from Iraqi, Pakistani, Sudanese and Egyptian communities in the UK, as well as others.
7.30-8.30pm Solemn, candlelit vigil in Westminster Cathedral – in thanksgiving for the inspirational sacrifice of Christians today.
Please come 'Together in Faith' as Christians to make our concerns heardThrough music, prayer and speeches by guests from Pakistan, Egypt and the UK we will explore what it means to be a Christian today – both at home and abroad. And, through examples of the courage and faith of others, we can grow in faith
and resolve 'to stand in the public square and proclaim the Lord'.
The vigil will also be a public statement about our own right to religious freedom.
To find out how you, your parish, school or group can participate please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 8642 8668.