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Biblical understanding about Israel
|Chariwoman Marie-Louise Weissenböck|
On May 11th, C4I Austria organised a conference in Linz, Austria, which had the theme ‘Remembrance, Responsibility and the future from a biblical, historical and artistic perspective.’
The event turned out to be a very blessed and greatly moving conference. It was attended by over 200 people from eight countries, including Israel! We had four speakers from Austria (Heribert Binder, a Protestant reverend, Helmuth Eiwen, a pastor leading a big free church and Rafaela Stankevich, an Austrian-Israeli historian as well as Angelika Schlackl, a historian), one speaker from Hungary (Geörgy Frisch, the leader of the Union of victims of Nazi persecution in Hungary) and Rick Wienecke (sculptor from Israel).
The Ambassador of the State of Israel in Austria, H.E Aviv Shir-On had sent a heartwarming message of greeting and thanks, which is printed in our June edition of ‘Israelaktuell’. The message of the conference was that Remembrance of the Holocaust must be connected with solidarity with the Jewish people and the State of Israel today! We cannot talk about anti-Semitism of the past without including the theme of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism today, which leads to the defamation of Israel.
Together with an Austrian saxophone player I played works from exiled Jewish composers and led through the conference. A group of the famous Austrian KISI kids (God’s singing kids) sang songs from their musicals Hanna and Paulus. These kids are a true blessing for our country and contributed greatly to the atmosphere of the day! Being the next generation it was moving to see how they were inspired by the message of turning around from the sins of our fathers and becoming a blessing for Israel and the Jewish people!
The conference, which was part of the EU-project ‘Active European Remembrance’ was translated in four languages simultaneously and documented for the EU.
On the next day, May 12th, a group of participants of the conference also took part in the official commemoration of the liberation of Mauthausen at the KZ Mauthausen. In total some 10.000 people attended.
Following the conference, we plan a ‘March for Life’ in 2014 and 2015, from Mauthausen to two hugely unknown but important concentration camps in Austria, Gusen and Gunskirchen. On June 17th we had a meeting with Jobst Bittner (the founder of March for Life in Germany) and a small group of Austrian Christian leaders to get the vision for this. The follow-up will be a fast and prayer- day on September 14th.
We hope to involve as many leaders and congregations in Austria as possible in this March for Life, and would be greatly thankful if you can include this in your prayers!
With warm greetings,
Chairwoman Chtistians for Israel Austria