MORE than 50 Alfaz residents attended a memorial service for the 77 victims of the 2011 Oslo and Utoya massacre.
Alfaz has one of Spain’s largest and longest-established Norwegian communities and the attacks by domestic terrorist Anders Behring Breivik were felt as their own. Most of Alfaz’s Norwegian residents had a direct or indirect link with those who were murdered that day.
Each year, Alfaz’s Norwegian residents hold a minute’s silence for the victims in the Johan Galtung Peace Park, placing flowers at the foot of a monument donated by the Basque sculptor Agustin Ibarrola.
“Ten years have gone by since then but even so, most of us remember what we were doing that afternoon and evening,” said Gjerulf Cristoffer Noddeland, pastor of the Norwegian Church in Albir.
During his short speech, Pastor Noddeland expressed concern at the advance of xenophobia and the rise in hate speech.
“I believe that it is only when we know people that we can trust them,” he declared.
He urged all those present to leave their own comfort zones and get to know people from other cultures and religions.
“That is the only way to achieve full democracy and help to prevent acts of hate and impotence like the 77 murders of July 22 in 2011.