ADHRRF – On May 10, 2018, the five-day “FIRMA (International Festival of Religions through Music and Arts)—Faiths in Tune” was opened at Royal Club Turin in Italy. At the conclusion of the festival on May 14, a roundtable on the theme of “religion, music and arts to promote peace and counter radicalisation” was held at Turin International Book Fair at Lingotto center, where an awards presentation took place.
Nino Boeti (President of Piedmont Regional Council), Prof. Massimo Giusio (representative of Turin International Book Fair), Ms. Anja Fahlenkamp (Founder of “Faiths in tune” Interfaith Music Festival), and Prof. Massimo Introvigne, (Editor-in-chief of Bitter Winter and Director of the Center for Studies on New Religions) attended this roundtable and delivered speeches to express their hope of promoting freedom and peace of religious beliefs and opposing interreligious discrimination and radicalisation through music, arts and culture exchange.
In this event, an international jury presented two FIRMA awards, one to Mr. Daisaku Ikeda (President of Soka Gakkai International) for his outstanding contribution to interreligious dialogue, and the Resistance to Religious Persecution Award was granted to The Church of Almighty God (CAG).
When the award was presented to the CAG, Prof. Massimo Introvigne said that the CAG Christians are the most persecuted group in China. This award is given to them for their persistent efforts to resist religious persecution in spite of their persecution and plight in China.
It is known that since the CAG was established in 1991, it has been continually subjected to the authorities’ harsh suppression and persecution in mainland China. As of December 31, 2017, there have been 60 well-documented cases of the CAG Christians persecuted to death by the Chinese Communist Party. Moreover, at least half a million Christians from the CAG have been forcibly displaced, some Christians even having to flee abroad.
In the meeting, Christians from the CAG called for people from all walks of life to realize the fact of the Chinese Communist Party’s blatant violation of international laws and persecution of religions, and to pay attention to the Chinese Christians’ difficult situations and the issues regarding their human rights and freedom of religious belief.
In addition, The Church of Almighty God showed some own-produced films at this music festival, including the musical drama Xiaozhen’s Story, the film Where Is My Home, and the documentary Chronicles of Religious Persecution in China which reflects the current status of trampled religious freedom and human rights of Chinese Christians.
A CAG Christian stated that because of the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal persecution, they had no freedom of belief in China, let alone produce works of art such as films and musicals to witness God. Now having come to the country of democracy and freedom, they get the opportunity to make films and works of literature and art. They sighed with deep emotion it’s God that blesses them to produce these works of art.