On Saturday 10th March, in the middle of London’s noisy and bustling Trafalgar Square, the electro-pop British band ooberfuse stopped the traffic long enough to tell otherwise indifferent Londoners the harrowing story of persecuted Christians throughout the world. To mark the 1st anniversary of the assassination of Pakistan’s Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, murdered in cold blood for courageously speaking out against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, a peace concert amplified the barely audible voices of minority communities throughout the world subjected to daily terror on account of their religious beliefs. You can watch their tribute video to Shahbaz Bhatti below.
One passer-by Joshua Sanders remarked “I had come to central London to do a bit of shopping and happened to be walking through Trafalgar Square. I heard the unexpected sound of rhythmic Indian drumming and followed my ears to a small stage set up at the foot of Nelson’s column. I was captivated by the music and the powerful accounts of the silent persecution faced by millions of Christians throughout the world. It is staggering that this kind of intolerance exists in the 21st century.”
During the interludes between musical performances speakers, including John Pontifex from Aid to the Church, Wilson Chowdhry from the British Pakistani Christian Association, Father Tim Finnigan from the Hermeneutics of Continuity blog-site and Irshad Manji from the USA-based Moral Courage Project, gave stirring reflections on the ugly reality of religious intolerance and persecution.
Cherrie Anderson of ooberfuse says, “It turned out to be an amazing day! I never expected so many to people to stop what they were doing to check out what was happening on the stage. It was an emotionally charged moment when we sang our tribute song in memory of Shahbaz Bhatti.” Hal St John of ooberfuse adds, “We felt blessed to be part of this initiative to make the voices of the voiceless heard in the midst of the roar and loud noise of London life.”
Copyright 2012 Jim Logue