IDAHOBIT campaign of the European Forum

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IDAHOBIT campaign of the European Forum

Poslaťod h111 » 26 Apr 2017, 20:10

As you may very well know, 17 May has been globally recognised as the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (or IDAHOBIT). On that day, numerous events will take place all over the world. And one of the traditions that some of our member groups have been involved in over the past few years is to hold prayer vigils remembering the victims of hatred and violence.

However, we as an association of groups would like to take a further step. Last year we launched a site called ‘Inclusive Faith,’ http://www.inclusivefaith.eu. There, we started a campaign calling for religious leaders and believers of various faiths to sign our declaration denouncing the claims that violence against people of various sexes, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions can be done in the name of traditions of faith. Based on common humanistic principles and upholding the value of every life, as well as physical, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing of every person that is intrinsic to every religion, people of all faiths can stand in solidarity and say out loud: “Not in our name!” The stronger that witness and statement becomes, the harder it will be to justify violence against non-heteronormative persons.

That is why we ask you, our local partners, to help us to collect signatures under that declaration. We would like to ask you to invite all your members, friends, partners, and allies to put their signatures under that declaration. Every signature counts! The ‘Comments’ section can be used to mention the group/organisation affiliation, and will help to increase the credibility of the campaign. You can start asking people to do so already now and remind them closer to IDAHOBIT, e.g. in mid-April. You can also join our online campaign by using hashtag #inclusivefaith (and following our Twitter account @christianslgbt) and encouraging others to use it as well.

We would also like to ask you to address the religious leaders in your country: hierarchs, chairing persons, opinion makers, thought leaders, etc. You don’t have to limit yourself to Christian leaders only. This initiative is carried out in partnership with our Muslim and Jewish allies. The more people we can include, the stronger our message.

In order to help you make this step, we’ve drafted a simple template of such a letter that you could distribute, at your discretion (please find it attached). But of course, feel free to adjust it to your context! And if you happen to meet such leaders face-to-face (at a celebration, synod, conference, some other kind of event or at a special appointment), besides having your letter and the text of the declaration itself printed out, you could also think of a simple and concise way of presenting the message of this campaign. Our proposed short summary reads as follows, but again, please feel free to adjust it to your particular context:
We are … and we would like to ask you to help us save the lives and souls of our sisters and brothers who suffer.
Every year there are thousands of people globally who suffer from verbal and physical violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
A huge share of this violence is done in the name of religious traditions.
Although there are differences in teaching regarding human sexuality, all churches/religions see human life as a sacred gift from God
Peace and non-violence are basic common values for all
Please help us to say out loud that violence and hatred can never be justified. Sign this declaration or at least take it with you for reflection - you can always sign it later online.
Every name makes an invaluable contribution to the conversation around religious intolerance. With each signature, the message is strengthened that there is no place for violence in our cherished faith institutions.
We hope that these simple means will help you in reaching out to your networks and religious leaders, and that together we can truly build a strong and diverse faith-based narrative against violence towards LGBT persons.

If you need any help or support from us, be it practical or contents-wise, please contact me at mitcher@gmail.com or project@euroforumlgbtchristians.eu. We are so grateful for your help on this matter.

Yours in Christ,

Misha Cherniak
Project Manager
European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups
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