Holocaust Memorial Day

The 27th January is marked as Holocaust Memorial Day, and this year the national ceremony will be streamed online from 7pm-8pm. You can register for access here

This year there is an invitation to all to ‘Light the Darkness’ by placing a lit candle (safely) in a window at 8pm today, to show that we remember those who have been murdered for who they were, and that we stand against prejudice and hatred today.

Holocaust Memorial Day was created on 27th January 2000 at a meeting of representatives from 46 governments from around the world. It is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own – it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented. Of course, we’re fortunate here in the UK; we are not at immediate risk of genocide. However, discrimination has not ended, nor has the use of the language of hatred or exclusion. There is still much to do to create a safer future and HMD is an opportunity to start this process.

HMD activities remember the millions killed during the Holocaust and under Nazi persecution – the 27th January marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. They also remember subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

You can learn more about Holcaust Memorial Day here.

In 2020 Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Senior Imam Qari Asim came together to write a special prayer which you may find helpful today.

Loving God, we come to you with heavy hearts, remembering the six million Jewish souls murdered during the Holocaust.

In the horrors of that history, when so many groups were targeted because of their identity, and in genocides which followed, we recognise destructive prejudices that drive people apart.

Forgive us when we give space to fear, negativity and hatred of others, simply because they are different from us.

In the light of God, we see everyone as equally precious manifestations of the Divine, and can know the courage to face the darkness.

Through our prayers and actions, help us to stand together with those who are suffering, so that light may banish all darkness, love will prevail over hate and good will triumph over evil.


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