THE PRESIDENT OF MASLIBRES.ORG AND CITIZENGO OPENS III INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ‘WE ARE ALL NAZARENES’
-On the first day of the #WeAreN 2018 event, the attendees heard speeches from Michael Jones (fictitious name), two students from the Kenian University of Garissa who survived an islamist attack, Fredrick Gitonga and Obwamu Ombunga and Juan José Aguirre, the Bishop of Bangassau (Central African Republic).
-During the afternoon there were new testimonies from victims of jihadism as well as discussions of various experts.
MADRID, 19. OCTOBER 2018.- This Friday saw the start of the III International Conference “We are all Nazarenes” (#WeAreN2018) in Madrid. In the morning of the first day over 100 people attended the event.
The event organized by the platform MasLibres.org and the CitizenGO foundation was opened by the president of both organizations, Ignacio Arsuaga, who stated that the objective of the #WeAreN2018 Conference is to “ask the international community to stop the new genocide from wreaking havoc on humanity.”
Arsuaga was clear that with their testimony persecuted Christians “are opening the world’s eyes to the terrible challenge of religious persecution in our time.” And he added: “Their voices represent those of more than 150 million Christians in different parts of the planet who suffer for their beliefs even today in the 21st century”.
You can see a video of the speeches and presentations at the #WeAreN2018 Conference here.
Images of the first #WeAreN2018 session can be viewed using the following links:
Children and adolescents are the most vulnerable
Likewise the president of HazteOir.org warned that one had to “look out especially for Christian children and adolescents, who are victims of jihad in countries plagued by war, terrorism and religious intolerance,” because “they are the most vulnerable ones among already vulnerable people.”
“Not only are they Christians – which makes them a scapegoat of jihadist fanaticism – they are also children and adolescents living in areas where the violence of war and terrorism rages with such cruelty that there isn’t so much as a semblance of humanity left.” Arsuaga added.
He concluded, saying: “Dear brothers and sisters, you are not alone. Your suffering is our suffering. The cause for freedom is our cause. The #WeAreN2018 Conference wants to be a wake-up call for the world to acknowledge the inhuman experience lived by those persecuted for their faith. ”
After the speech of the president of HazteOir.org the first presentation of the morning came from religious freedom analyst, Michael Jones (fictitious name). Jones helps persecuted Christians in Egypt and has concealed his identity so as not be recognized.
Jones spoke of how he lived through the terrorist attacks on the St Peter Cathedral in December 2016 on Palm Sunday in the heart of Egypt. “A jihadist terrorist came in and blew himself up in the midst of peacefully praying people.” he said with some emotion and, while showing a photo of a small girl, he added: “Maggie accompanied her mother that Sunday because there was no school. She was killed because of her faith.”
Assassinated for being Christian
Afterwards it was Fredrick Gitonga’s and Obwamu Ombunga’s turn to speak. These students’ from the University of Garissa in Kenya survived an islamist terrorist attack of the group All Shababa in 2015, were 149 young people were killed.
“We all knew each other. From the phone contacts I have, 4 or 5 friends died that day. It was very painful to think that they all died for being Christian.“ Fredrick Gitonga explained. He was spared because he hid under his bed.
Obwamu Ombunga, on the other hand, was shot at 5 times in the attack on the University of Garissa. One of the bullets hit his head but he miraculously survived. “It was a warning for the rest of the Christians, so they knew they weren’t safe, that they could be the next victims.“ he said. And he stressed: “The blood of those Christians is like a seed from which spring new Christians, but the seed is bearing fruit very slowly.“
The last testimony of this first day of the #WeAreN2018 Conference came from Juan José Aguirre, the Bishop of Bangassou in Central African Republic. who has lived in this African country for 38 years. He arrived there when he was only 26 years as a Comboni missionary wanting to preach evangelism.
Missionaries, the hope for those who are persecuted
Monsignor Aguirre denounced that islamists are persecuting Christians and priests, rape nuns, burn down churches and steal cars. “14 men of war arrived supported by leaders in the Persian Gulf. Other countries such as the US, Russia and Israel evidently have an economic interest in controlling the raw materials and for this reason the country is in a constant state of war,“ he explained.
To conclude, the bishop said “I have confidence in God; we are 12.000 Spanish missionaries spread throughout the world helping the most needy and we act according to His word.“
A Conference to lift the voices of the persecuted
After the Conferencees held in 2015 (Madrid) and 2016 (at the UN headquarters in New York), this year’s Conference is specifically dedicated to the children who suffer because of their faith and there will be harrowing testimonies as well as a screening of the film “This is how persecuted Christians live” and the documentary “21 martyrs”.
The III International Conference “We all are Nazarenes” (#WeAreN2018) is organized by the foundation CitizenGO and the foundation MasLibres.org, established in Spain in 2011 with the aim to defend religious freedom.
Information about the III International Conference “We all are Nazarenes” can be found here.
A video presentation of #WeAreN2018 can be viewed here.