Recently, Rome witnessed an extraordinary gathering of faith, as nearly 20,000 people flocked to the historic Palazzo dello Sport for the Noi Festival Roma, Italy’s largest evangelical Christian outreach event ever. This two-day festival, held November 4 and 5, marked a momentous occasion in the heart of Italy’s capital, spreading a message of hope and salvation.
The word “Noi” itself translates to “We” or “Us” in Italian, signifying unity and togetherness. This was the second installment of the Noi Festival, with last year’s event taking place in Milan, where 13,000 attended. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, the driving force behind these gatherings, proudly announced that the crowd in Rome occupied 18,000 seats within the arena, requiring an outdoor screening for the overflow of eager attendees.
What makes this event truly exceptional is that it united over 800 evangelical churches across Italy for a singular purpose. It’s a testament to the urgency of the times we live in, where spiritual darkness encroaches on every corner. The world is desperate for salvation, and this event responded to the call of the Great Commission in the Bible, which urges believers to spread the message of hope and eternal life.
The Noi Festival Roma featured a powerful message from Franklin Graham, President and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and worship that stirred hearts, performed by renowned artists like Michael W. Smith and Kari Jobe. Graham’s message went beyond the rich history, culture and religion that define Rome; he came to share a profound truth—the path to a personal relationship with God is through His Son, Jesus Christ.
In a world where many may feel insignificant, Graham reminded the thousands assembled that they are cherished in the eyes of God. He declared, “Your life is important to God! He made you, He created you and He loves you. How do we know this? Because the Bible—the Word of God—tells us that God loves us. The Bible says God so loved the world He gave His only Son, and whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”
Just before the Noi Festival, the Italian Senate honored Franklin Graham for his remarkable work with Samaritan’s Purse, the charitable organization he leads. Samaritan’s Purse exemplifies the Christian mission of extending a helping hand in times of crisis and disaster, both physically and spiritually. Since its inception in 1970, this organization has tirelessly served those affected by war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine, all while sharing the love of God through Jesus Christ.
In March 2020, Samaritan’s Purse opened a field hospital in the Italian city of Cremona, providing critical medical assistance during a time of great need. Their dedication saved countless lives and was a testament to the love of God in action. This compassionate response from Samaritan’s Purse led the churches in Italy to extend an invitation to Franklin Graham to return and preach. Samaritan’s Purse recently opened a new airlift response center, equipped to serve the world’s most urgent needs.
In times when the world is plunged into spiritual darkness, events like the Noi Festival Roma and organizations like Samaritan’s Purse stand as beacons of hope, following the divine calling of the Great Commission to bring light to a world in desperate need of salvation.
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
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