The March of Remembrance
The March of Remembrance is a simple prayer walk and /or event taken annually since 2007 on Yom HaShoah (Day of Holocaust Remembrance) to “honor, educate, remember, & engage”. The March of Remembrance seeks to honor Holocaust survivors and their families, educate the public about the reality of the Holocaust, remember the tragic consequences of silence, and engage people in battling indifference and prejudice. We choose that day as a clear stance against anti-Semitism and as a powerful symbol of what happens when people remain silent about abuse, prejudice and righteousness. The March of Remembrance is a sister to the March of Life (Europe).
We gather to humble ourselves and pray in cities everywhere on May 1, 2016 (or between May 1-8, 2016). We then walk on a path significant to each specific locality. Every event is organized by volunteers from the local community to ensure the March is a sincere expression that addresses local issues and history. In most cities, we will also hold public events in conjunction with that prayer walk to honor the Jewish community by providing a platform for Holocaust-related speakers to give testimony. Many cities go even further with a benefit to help Holocaust survivors in Israel today.
What It Is
Honor: We honor the Holocaust survivors and let their voices be heard and their story told. It is important in this time when, even in the face of the overwhelming documentation by the Nazis themselves of the reality of the Holocaust, there are so many who deny that the Holocaust even happen or claim that the reports were exaggerated. This is occurring not only in countries where there is a political agenda to do so, but in the U.S. as well.
Educate: The purpose of the march is to educate a generation that is many times unaware of the reality of the horrors of the Holocaust. Not only of the facts of what happened during that time, but also the attitudes and incendiary propaganda that preceded it which conditioned a nation of people to stand by and be silent while the atrocities were being committed.
Remember: We remember. Not only those who were lost in the Holocaust, but those who fought for freedom: the rescuers who risked their lives and hid Jews underground; the soldiers who fought and sacrificed in World War II; and the leaders who spoke out.
Engage: The march is a time of active learning. Participants hear the first hand experiences of those who lived through the horrors. It is not just reading a story in a book, it is understanding the reality of what happened. The march engages people and invites them to take action by marching. In the ongoing dynamic between a person’s thoughts, attitudes, and actions, marching against modern day anti-Semitism is a strong statement and influence.
What It Isn’t
Proselytizing: While the March was started and is organized by Christians, this is not a time of proselytizing to the Jewish people. It is a witness by Christians through love and support, not words.
Political: The march is not a political statement or rally. There are divergent views within the body of Christ on earthly government. But we come in agreement that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is faithful and keeps his promises (Psalm 136.) We stand in support of the Jewish people and stand against anti-Semitism. Signs or clothing that are aggressive towards any group of people are not in the spirit of this march and will not be allowed.
Publicity Stunt: The purpose of the march is to honor the survivors of the Holocaust. It is not a platform for publicity to promote an agenda by any person or organization. This is God’s march and it is for his honor and glory. The co-opting of that by other parties will not be allowed.
A word from the Initiator and Founder of March of Life, Pastor Jobst Bittner:
America is living under a veil of shame and silence!
Shame and silence destroys a nation and brings it to ruin. When the people of God arise and break the silence, God’s light will break forth in a new way, powerfully changing America and producing new life. But how can this happen?
There are still 175,000 Holocaust survivors in the United States. Until today, both they and their descendants are still living under the shadow of the Holocaust. Every one of them is a living testimony of what it means for a nations to be caught under a veil of shame and silence. Remembering together with them and honoring them touches the heart of God. Hearing their stories teaches us for the future. Standing with them in steadfast friendship to Israel and taking a stand against anti-Jewish attitudes, the down-playing of the Holocaust, and modern anti-Semitism opens the floodgates of Heaven’s blessings.
Statistics say that 15% of the American population harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. A high percentage thinks that Israel’s crisis is self-inflicted. National socialist associations, Muslim brotherhoods and secular humanistic mindsets create an anti-Israeli picture.
Let us overcome our shame with the March of Life, and as churches and congregations in the spirit of the Sons of Zion, let us manifest the promise found in Isaiah 60:1 over America: “Arise - and shine!”
During the past few years, the March of Life movement has mobilized and set into motion tens of thousands in their confession to stand with Israel in more than ten nations. If the church in Germany had taken to the streets during the Nazi era, Auschwitz would not have happened. If they had broken their silence and overcome their shame, the Holocaust would not have been possible.
Come, it is time for the “March of Remembrance”, so the veil of shame and silence can be broken over America, the nation can be changed and the floodgates of Heaven will be opened again.
Pastor Jobst Bittner
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