Eighteen-thousand people have packed a Rome sports stadium for the biggest evangelical outreach in Italian history. The two-day Noi Festival brought a message of hope and salvation to the eager audience who arrived from across the country in 200 buses. The word Noi translates to “We” or “Us” in Italian, signifying unity and togetherness.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) was the driving force behind the event, supported by 800 evangelical churches from throughout Italy. Evangelist Franklin Graham preached that the path to a personal relationship with God is through his son Jesus. He reminded his audience that “in a world where many may feel insignificant, they are cherished in the eyes of God.”
“Your soul will spend eternity in either Heaven or Hell. So the decision you make tonight may change the destiny of your soul. God is anxious to forgive you. He will do that tonight but you’ve got to come to Him through faith in His Son Jesus Christ,” the Reverend Graham declared. More than 1,000 people came forward to give their lives to Christ.
Laura Bailey writes for BGEA that one of them was Patricia from Naples. When Franklin Graham talked about God’s forgiveness, Patricia knew it was time to let go of her guilt. For 20 years, she had lived with the weight and grief of an abortion and had dreamed about her baby numerous times. She prayed to Jesus, telling Him how sorry she was for her sins and asking Him to be Lord of her life. “I’m a sinner and still have some problems, but Jesus forgives us. We know that Jesus has forgiven us by going to the cross,” she proclaimed. Patricia’s husband and 16-year-old son, Samuele, also surrendered their lives to Christ.
Lorenzo, also from Naples, wept as he told a prayer team volunteer: “My life is destroyed” following a 30-year struggle with addiction. But after a pastor asked God to “break the chains” the middle-aged man left feeling God’s peace, after praying to receive Jesus into his heart and life.
Ministry leader Antonio Marino observed that: “Many churches offer religion, but a relationship with Jesus Christ is a totally different thing,” he said, while noting many Italians have a distorted view of God. “You can get to know Him if you really would know who Jesus is and what He wants to do in your life and with your life, you would fall in love with Him.”
He concluded the event was “a great, great blessing for our nation.”
Charisma News reports that the Italian Senate also honoured Franklin Graham for the remarkable work of his Samaritan’s Purse humanitarian ministry in responding to natural disasters and other crises around the world. It was one of the first organisations to respond to Italy’s covid crisis at the start of the pandemic in 2020.
Meanwhile, another large Christian outreach has taken place in New York’s Times Square. Faithwire reports thousands gathered to worship, sing songs of praise and receive prayer and healing.
Organiser Pastor Mike Signorelli stressed it wasn’t just street preaching, but a fully sanctioned event. He claimed the streets were filled with people singing in the spirit and addicts who had given up drugs.
Pastor Signorelli commissioned followers to go into the streets and “lead the lost to Jesus.” He said that led to multiple conversions as salvation spread throughout the city.
The event was sparked by mayor Eric Adams’ warning of lone-wolf attacks in the wake of the Hamas assault on Israel. The mayor watched a viral video of Pastor Signorelli prophesying about God’s work in New York, and invited him to hold a revival meeting in the heart of the city.
Photo: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association