Christians respond to sectarianism and paramilitary violence

Christians from a wide range of denominational backgrounds will together be praying and acting to raise awareness about sectarian and paramilitary violence.


On each of the 50 days between Easter Monday (5th April 2021) and Pentecost Sunday (23rd May 2021), #couragepentecost will share an image and courageous action that can be taken in the face of sectarianism and paramilitary violence. Each action is invitational rather than aspirational, seeking to equip and encourage individuals to consider and deepen their own journeys of courage towards reconciliation.


#couragepentecost emerged from a small group of people from a diverse group of Christian faith traditions. In some communities, paramilitary attacks, sectarian abuse and community fracture are still the brutal legacy of our conflict. Our churches have demonstrated profound acts of courage over the years. But often, our responses to this violence have been characterised by silence.


The organisers encourage everyone across Northern Ireland to get involved. The Leader of The Corrymeela Community, Rev. Dr. Alex Wimberly said: “Courage Pentecost is for all of us – not just the heroic and famous few. We can all contribute to a more reconciled society. These contributions could be anything from a private act of prayer to a public act of witness”.


Father Martin Magill added: “Courage Pentecost seeks to create a sustaining solidarity within which we can carry out acts of courage together – supporting, inspiring and challenging one another. Together we can go on a shared pilgrimage, with both planned and spontaneous acts of courage that respond to political tension and ongoing community violence”.


Nicola Brady, the General Secretary of the Irish Council of Churches said of the project: “#couragepentecost provides an important opportunity to reflect on what it means for Christians to be salt and light to our wounded community, living out our call to be peacemakers in a spirit of solidarity and partnership with others”.


The suggested acts of courage will be shared on the Courage Pentecost website as well as through social media channels. The website offers a mailing list so people can sign up in advance to receive the daily calls to action.