PETITION TO BE DELIVERED TO THE UN AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION IN BRUSSELS
- Two missionaries who were jihadist victims in Yemen, one survivor of an attack in Kenya, one aid worker who shared a cell with a member of Bin Laden’s personal guard in South Sudan and a Pakistani refugee delivered 215,000 signatures on the eve of the III International Congress “We are all Nazarenes” #WeAreN 2018 that starts this friday in Madrid.
- Miguel Vidal, spokesman for MasLibres states: “Humanity is witness to a real genocide and Christians are the victims. It is estimated that between 100 and 150 million Christians worldwide are persecuted for their faith every year. Among them are millions of children and adolescents.”
MADRID, 19 October 2018.- Victims of islamist terrorism delivered more than 25,100 signatures to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this thursday. They are directed to the Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations, Agustín Santos Maraver, asking that he act in favour of persecuted Christian children.
Photos of the signature delivery can be viewed here.
Video footage of the signature delivery can be viewed here.
Signatures were delivered to the ministry by Fr. George Muttathuparambil and Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, missionaries in Yemen. Fr. Muttathuparambil was witness to assassinations and kidnappings by jihadists in Yemen while Fr. Uzhunnalil was held captive and later set free. The missionaries were accompanied by the Czech pastor and aid worker Petr Jasek, who was sentenced to death – and later pardoned – in Sudan, where he shared a cell with a member of Bin Laden’s personal guard. Evangelical Christian Obwamu Ombunga, survivor of jihadist attacks on the University of Garissa, Kenya, also formed part of the group delivering signatures, as did Pakistani Christian refugee Aslam, who now resides in Spain.
These and a further 10 persecuted Christians will be part of the III International “We are all Nazarenes” Congress #WeAreN 2018 which will be held in Madrid from this friday.
Minutes before the delivery of signatures, Miguel Vidal, spokesman for the platform MasLibres, which organizes the event stated: “Humanity is witness to a real genocide and Christians are the victims. It is estimated that between 100 and 150 million Christians worldwide are persecuted for their faith every year. Among them are millions of children and adolescents.”
Vidal also revealed that, not one representative of government departments was willing to receive them.
In favour of persecuted Christian children
The delivered signatures were collected through this initiative launched by MasLibres.org, the platform that defends religious freedom worldwide. The petition will reach other UN leaders in the coming days, namely the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Religious Freedom, Ahmed Shaheed, the Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, José Antonio Vergara Bermúdez, as well as the Special Envoy of the European Commission to the UN for the Promotion of Religious Freedom and Beliefs outside the EU, Ján Figel.
As preparation for and further action supporting the #WeAreN2018 Congress, people in three continents came together to pray for persecuted Christians in Japan, France, Portugal, Luxemburg, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, the US and Argentina as well as in Spanish cities and places such as Barcelona, Murcia, Canary Islands, Bask Country, Galicia, Andalucia, Castilla and León, Castilla-La Mancha, Balearic Islands, Extremadura and Valencia.
On Wednesday a prayer vigil took place in front of the Nigerian embassy in Madrid to remember children and adolescents such as Leah Sharibu – kidnapped by Boko Haram – who suffer persecution, violence and even murder just for professing to be Christian. Many volunteers and victims of persecution came together with candles and posters to pray for them.
Images from the prayer vigil in front of the Nigerian embassy in Madrid can be viewed here.
Video footage of the prayer vigil in front of the Nigerian embassy in Madrid can be viewed here.
III WeAreN 2018 International Congress
The delivery of signatures as well as vigils are actions leading up to the III International Congress “We are all Nazarenes” WeAreN 2018. The symposium which begins on 19. October in Madrid, will include the testimonies of 17 people from India, Nigeria, Iraq, Egypt, Kenya, South Sudan, Yemen and Czech Republic, who have personally experienced violence from terrorist groups such as IS and Boko Haram.
After the congresses held in 2015 (Madrid) and 2016 (at the UN headquarters in New York), this year’s congress 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 Congress “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 Congress “We all are Nazarenes” can be found here.
A video presentation of #WeAreN2018 can be viewed here.