ADHRRF — The Second World March for Peace and Non-violence commenced on October 2 in Madrid, the capital city of Spain. Persecuted Christians from China appealed for solidarity for peace and joint efforts to protest against tyranny.
This event was also commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, who is the global icon of peace and nonviolence. It was co-organized by World Without Wars and Violence (WwW), Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), Foundation for a Culture of Peace (Fundación Cultura de Paz), the Spanish Section of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF-España), the international press agency Pressenza, Spanish Research for Peace Association (Asociación Española de Investigación para la Paz, AIPAZ), and others. More than 20 Christians of The Church of Almighty God (CAG) also participated in the launch.
The Church of Almighty God is a Christian new religious movement and has been brutally suppressed and persecuted by the Chinese Communist government since it was established in China in 1991. According to incomplete statistics of the Church, its members have suffered more than one million arrests. Many are tortured, sentenced and jailed. There are more than 100 well-documented death cases of CAG Christians as a result of persecution, and at least half a million are forced to flee their homes and go on the run.
When asked for the reason of participating in the launch, a Christian representative from the CAG, as a victim of the dictatorial regime of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), said, “In China, we are subjected to the violent persecution and suppression of the CCP. We hate all the violence, we advocate peace, and we hope that the world is full of hope and light. So I come here today to fight for peace, against violence.”
He also made a call that, today in 21st century, people desire peace more than ever, but a fact that should be known is that the root of the world’s turbulence is the existence of evil forces and totalitarian rules. He stressed that only when all the forces of terrorism and evilness collapse can peace of the world truly be realized.
After the launching ceremony, participants congregated at the Circle of Fine Arts in Madrid (Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid) for an event co-hosted by WwW’s section in Spain and Ateneo de Madrid.
The event showcased the pictures and videos of the First World March for Peace and Non-violence and introduced the outline of the march, which contains several themes, such as multilateralism, environmental crisis and climate change, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, nondiscrimination, and nonviolence as a new culture.
Federico Mayor Zaragoza (president of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace and the former director-general of UNESCO), Pedro Arrojo (vice-president of Podemos), and Carmen Magallón (president of WILFP Spain) gave their speech via videos.
This march will conclude with the return to the starting point of Madrid on March 8, 2020, after a tour of 159 days around the world. It is estimated that the march will travel through more than 100 countries and regions with hundreds of thousands of activists participating in it. Through this action, the organizers hope that people can raise awareness that there are more subtle forms of violence in addition to wars, such as racial, sexual, psychological, moral violence and bullying.