Annual Sermon Weekend to take place this weekend, April 12-14 In Honor of Genocide Prevention and Awareness Month

While many of us think of April as the first sign of spring and new beginnings, there is another association with this month that is both jarring and grim. April, designated as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, is a time of reflection and action – reflection on all the genocides that have happened in modern history and action in terms of curbing current genocides and preventing future ones. Genocide refers to the ultimate crime against humanity in which there is intent to destroy ethnic, racial, or religious groups.

In the latest podcast episode of “Never Again,” Peter Van Arsdale, an American researcher and retired director of African Initiatives at the University of Denver, discusses how the month of April came to be chosen as the month of recognition for genocide given “April has seen many of the worst genocides from the 20th and 21st centuries.”

April 3 – Darfur 2003 – Today; 400,000 lives lost

April 5 – Bosnia 1992-1996; 200,000 lives lost

April 7 – Rwanda 1994; 800,000 lives lost

April 8 – Holocaust 1933-1945; 11,000,000 lives lost

April 17 – Cambodia 1975-1979; 2,000,000 lives lost

April 24 – Armenians 1915-1923; 1,500,000 lives lost

Each of these genocides has resulted in millions of lives lost and the destruction of cultures and nations.

So why does genocide occur? According to Van Arsdale, there are multiple reasons including the intent to eliminate difference, the intent for political domination, religious interplay, and structural violence, which “refers to not just one group killing another, but also the insidious embedded violence in institutions, which carry on and can contribute to genocides.”

He also states later in the episode that “fear enables genocide.” And with fear often comes silence.   The victims of history’s genocides did not have a voice. They could not speak out. Instead, we must give voice to these victims, share their stories, and speak on their behalf to prevent future crimes against humanity.

That’s why this weekend, April 12-14, in honor and recognition of Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, the Coalition Against Global Genocide has called upon our fellow clergy and friends of faith to participate in our annual Sermon Weekend. The weekend will take place in partnership with the Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado Council of Churches, Greater Metropolitan Denver Ministerial Alliance, Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of the Rockies, Northeast Denver Islamic Center, and the Rocky Mountain Rabbis & Cantors. We ask our fellow religious leaders to show their support for our cause this Sermon Weekend by sharing our message with their congregations to make them aware of the atrocities that have occurred and continue to occur even today.

While we cannot change history, we CAN change the future. But we cannot do it alone. We must come together to drive awareness and educate others about how they can help protect individual rights and promote a culture of lawfulness to prevent future genocides.

Whether you’re a religious leader or a member of faith, join us and our partner organizations for this uplifting weekend of prayer and speak out to help stop and prevent horrendous atrocities so that one day all people will be able to live in peace.

Will you stand with us?

If you would like to show your support by donating to our cause, visit