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Immanuelskyrkans blogg

Immanuelskyrkans blogg

Upplevelser, tankar och åsikter från människor i Immanuelskyrkan. Mitt i Stockholm.

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IMG 1556

 

A cold clear Saturday in November. Hundreds of people have gathered on Sergelstorg in the heart of Stockholm to protest. We are here to protest slavery. I simply cannot fathom that this is actually happening - an anti-slavery protest in 2017. Yet, we know that there are more slaves today than in any previous point in history, with more than 40 million people being exploited around the world (Global Slavery Index 2016).

Today, we are protesting the slave trade in Libya. African lives that are being auctioned for $400 as CNN reported, it obviously reminds us of two of the worst chapters in human history, the Atlantic and Arab slave trade.

Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come is sung from stage. People chime in. Different speakers, sub-cultural profiles, take the floor. Swedish politicians are accused of not speaking up. Swedish media are accused of not reporting enough. Representation is failing and important voices go unheard. The proximity principle does not apply when you are in a position of privilege.

Meanwhile, there are Swedish citizens of African origin who get a call and learn that one of their relatives is captured in northern-Africa and that a ransom is demanded. What is the price of a human life… They pay, time and again, regardless of the increase. It is easy to see how the world is more interconnected than ever before.

One speaker reminds us that even if you cannot relate through relatives, everyone can relate as a fellow human being. As someone who believes that every life is free. We are encouraged to be the voice of change, in our homes, at our kitchen tables. Because the idea that one human life would be less valuable than another’s starts in our minds, with our perceptions, ideas and prejudices.

The protest is ending and I walk home with a heavy heart. I realize that the current migration situation in the world is vast and complicated. And that the problems of failed state Libya are many. But the auctioning of human lifes is beyond any opinion or discussion. It is simply evil. And we must do everything in our power to end its practise.

 

Träffar: 1710

Two days ago, our city of Stockholm was struck by a terror attack killing four people and wounding others. Still fresh in our minds was the gas attack in Syria last Tuesday killing at least 50 people, including children.

Today, as we gathered for our Palm Sunday celebration, there was a bomb attack on two coptic churches in Egypt, killing at least 40 people. They too, were gathering to celebrate Palm Sunday.

How can we sing, dance, wave our palm branches and welcome our Messiah while our hearts are sad? In what way is Jesus really King when innocent people are slaughtered?

This is my encouragement for you today: We welcome our Messiah because He won against all the powers of darkness and destruction in our world and in our lives. Not by means of terror, power, violence, fear or intimidation. But with the ultimate sacrifice of his own blood. That is our reason for hope.

“The thief´s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” (John 10: 10-11)

...I hear you. The pain is real. The gut-wrenching anger at the loss of innocent lives. The continued presence of evil. Jesus himself wept for those that would not come to accept the kind of peace that He came to bring (Luke 19:41).

But the hope is real too. It allows us to see beyond terror, to believe in a good God and to see goodness in people around us. It allows us to be bold and fearless because we are part of a bigger narrative, one of which we already know the ending.

And as tens of thousands of Stockholmers gathered in a demonstration of love today, presenter Rickard Sjöberg found the perfect words to end the gathering when he quoted Martin Luther King: “Hate does not drive out hate, only love can do that.”

 

 

IMG 1552In the sea of flowers left behind in memory of the victims of the terror attack in Stockholm on 7 April, there is a note saying "goda grannar" (good neighbors) showing a church and a mosque in the skyline.

Träffar: 1660

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