A SPECIAL service bringing people together in Bromsgrove to unite against hatred and intolerance took place at the town’s St John’s Church on Sunday.
The commemorative event, attended by Christians, Jews, Muslims, scout and people with no chosen faith from across Bromsgrove and Redditch, marked the 23rd anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.
The service honoured the thousands of Muslim victims and families who lost their lives in the terrible genocide in Srebrenica in July 1995.
It was organised by the Remembering Srebrenica organisation and was one of 600 memorial events held throughout the UK throughout this month.
The theme for the services was ‘Act of Courage’ and they were aimed at providing a message of solidarity and unity which is sorely missed in these difficult times facing this country and the world.
Helal Shahid, chair of Remembering Srebrenica Worcestershire, said “We can and should draw inspiration from the acts of bravery, heroism and a determination to resist hatred.
“I visited Bosnia as part of delegation visiting key sites including Srebrenica and took part in meeting the survivors of the genocide, as well as the Mothers of Srebrenica whose husbands and sons were lost in the massacres. I heard first hand their moving and harrowing experiences of the genocide.
“I learned how unresolved tensions in a community can lead to tragedy if not addressed.
“The words of Rev Ray Khan was a reminder to us that the flicker of a single light of goodness that we carry within us with all its fragility is more powerful to overcome the depths of darkness that may exist.”
Highlighting the acts of courage during the genocide, the words spoken were aimed at encouraging people to reflect on the possibility of choice, inspiring hope and resistance to hatred, educating people about how a better future could be built and empowering people to speak up in defence of others.