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Huge growth in numbers attending Irish Christian conference for 'anyone who loves Jesus'

A ‘miracle night’ was held by Ireland4Jesus as part of events in Dublin last weekend.

Image: Shutterstock/Paul shuang

A RECORD NUMBER of people are expected to attend a christian conference in Sligo next month.

The New Wine summer conference welcomes people from any christian faith. Its general manager John Stewart told TheJournal.ie, “It’s for anybody who loves Jesus”.

New Wine Ireland described itself as “a movement of churches working together to change the island of Ireland through a network of church leaders, our summer conference and training and resource events”.

The conference started in Sligo in 2006 with 387 delegates booking for the week. Last year 1,015 people booked for the entire week and the total number in attendance was over 2,000 when day passes were added.

This year over 1,025 people have already booked to attend the conference so far and a similar day rate is expected.

Stewart said, “This is going to be the biggest conference yet, in our experience that figure will probably double with day passes.

We are non-denominational and friends across all christian religions are welcome. People who love Jesus or anybody who is curious about religion and faith is welcome. It’s a good place to come and see what we’re about. We never turn anyone away.

The conference started off in a hotel and now uses Sligo IT. Stewart said that Sligo was deliberately chosen as the destination as many people travel from the North and it’s an opportunity for people to gather.

President of IT Sligo Brendan McCormack said, “I’m delighted that New Wine is back with us next month. IT Sligo has enjoyed partnering with this all-Ireland Christian charity since 2009, providing top-class conference and catering facilities to delegates.”

Steward said, “About 70% of people come from the North and 30% of the people will be from the South.

It’s also the idea of a holiday with a purpose, for a lot of people it will be their summer holiday and has been for some years.

“So if they don’t want to go seminar they can go to the beach and enjoy Sligo.”

The six-day conference will consist of about 60 seminars, 10 each day, and attendees can decide which seminars they want to attend. Stewart said the days start with a bible teaching in the morning and ends with a celebration every evening.

He added that the conference aims to be inclusive and to engage with people in different communities.

Asked if any speaker from the Islam faith will be attending, Stewart said, “No there isn’t but we hope those issues will be covered – we would to see that in the future.”

Independent Senator Rónán Mullen will speak alongside Gavin Robinson from the Democratic Unionist Party about faith in politics.

Ireland 4 Jesus 

Last weekend, Ireland4Jesus (I4J) held a three-day event in the National Stadium in Dublin. It describes itself as “national outreach spanning across Northern Ireland and the Republic”.

If were to describe the mission of this project with a few words it would be something like this: I4J is a project to bring unification and salvation to a nation.
We believe that this movement is going to completely change the tone for the country of Ireland, and the entire world.

Its website also states that “cities like Belfast, Drogheda and Dublin have assembled team to deliver the message of christ and impact the unsaved”.

The event kicked of with a ‘Miracle Night’ on the Friday evening. A video posted on its website stated:

A night to bring the sick and the hurt, bring the deaf and blind and expect a miracle.

The second day included a children’s outreach and youth outreach and a night of celebration consisting of an oil anointing.

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TheJournal.ie contacted Ireland4Jesus for information about its events and the attendance numbers and but did not receive a response.

Sligo17 runs from 9-14 July.

Read: Imam says extremists are targeting ‘vulnerable’ young Muslims in Ireland>

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