mercoledì 17 febbraio 2016
17 February: a testimony to the rights of all
It is customary that on the evening of 16 February in the villages and hamlets of the Waldensian Valleys of the bonfires are lit in memory of the signing of the "Letters Patent" with which the King Carlo Alberto granted for the first time in the history of the Piedmont Civil Rights the Waldensian minority, and a few days later, also to the Jewish minority. To celebrate this event today is not just to remember a time in the past, but above all be aware that freedom of conscience is one of the fundamental freedoms of a democratic state as indeed is also stated in the Constitution of the Italian Republic. Liberty and fraternity are inherent in ignition of the fire, "fire of freedom", joyful symbol of communion and dialogue between different peoples, cultures and faiths. The party, always, does not have a religious character - although the Waldensian are still grateful to the Lord for freedom obtained - but civil. Around the bonfire it gathers all the population beyond the political differences, cultural, religious, for a big party. February 17, or the closest Sunday, celebrating a solemn worship of thanksgiving, the Waldensian and Methodist churches recall the recognition of civil and political rights to the Waldensian occurred in 1848. This day, however, also evokes a tragic event and particularly significant for our country: February 17, 1600 in Rome was burned at the stake Giordano Bruno, philosopher, mystic and one of the most steadfast supporters of freedom of conscience. Combining the significance of these two historic events, the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy (FCEI) for several years offers around the week to February 17 as "Week of Freedom", promoting meetings and initiatives of solidarity with those who suffer from lack of religious freedom or violation of human rights.