I will be playing at Ovingham Parish church, Saturday 1st July, 11am to 3pm.
It is a ‘drop in’ (enter and leave when you want) musical event for peace, and to raise awareness of ‘the hidden victims’ of terror. Children welcome, but must be supervised.
The event is free, but donations are welcome – 10% will go to the Parish church, 90% to the Charity ‘International Christian Consulate’ (Charity number 1170909) who help Christian refugees who are badly discriminated against and persecuted, even in Europe.
If you can’t make it, but want to support them, you can also donate to them via their website http://www.internationalchristianconsulate.com/ .
You can hear a sample of the style of music in the tracks below.
I realise that this is short notice, but in the light of recent events, it seemed like a good idea do it as soon as possible. In this country we face at least three kinds of extremism – the far left, the far right, and Islamic extremism. All of them in their own way seek to have what the far left have taken to calling ‘Days of Rage’. We as the church need to counter that with times (and a lifestyle) of reconciliation.
The purpose of the event is two-fold – firstly to provide an environment for peaceful reflection, primarily by my improvisational piano playing (which I have repeatedly been told is beautiful and peaceful), and secondly to raise awareness of ‘hidden victims’ of terror, that don’t make the headlines, and secondarily, to raise funds for a charity helping one of those groups. These ‘hidden victims’ include Christian refugees from the Middle East, who suffer discrimination and violence at every stage of the process, from not being able to be in refugee camps in the Middle East to be given asylum because Islamicist groups run the camps or send in hit squads to assassinate them, to suffering severe and often violent persecution within camps or the refugee system within Europe. The other group of ‘hidden terror victims’ who virtually never make the headlines are UK citizens who have converted from Islam to Christianity (or to atheism or humanism or Buddhism) – and sometimes even Asian Christians who are not converts but can face similar hostility, including death threats and murder attempts. I have recently worked on a report into this issue for a Christian charity, interviewing such individuals and families, some of whom could accurately be described as ‘internal refugees’, forced to live underground in fear of their lives or to move out of their homes to avoid persecution. The report has been submitted to the Parliamentary Committee on Hate Crimes, but you can view it by clicking on the link on this page: http://www.britishpakistanichristians.org/blog/our-apostasy-hatred-report-as-submitted-to-uk-hate-crime-inquiry .
We are commanded in the bible to do ‘good to all, but especially to those of the household of faith’, and as such I encourage people to come along if they can, but in any case, to become aware of these issues surrounding those brothers and sisters suffering in this country and continent.