Last weekend saw the third annual ‘Jesus Manifestation’ in Stockholm, with Christian bikers the most noticeable group among the 25,000-strong crowd.
Descending on the capital clad in faded leather jackets, untended beards and a wide range of tattoos, the bikers wore their mission statements on patches on their backs, where slogans such as The Salvation Riders, Streetchurch Bikers and Nights of Heaven Kronoberg paid testament to their physical and spiritual journeys.
One rider, Thomas Gustafsson, told The Local how he travelled from Linkoping to the Kungstradgarden gathering on his Honda CB1300 after attending a music festival and group blessing at Ralambshov Park. The event saw former criminals and bikers praising Jesus in between musical performances. “It was a powerful feeling,” said Gustafsson.
Organisers of the third instalment of the Stockholm Jesus Manifestation were happy with the turnout, which was up to an estimated 25,000 from 18,000 attendees in 2009.
The day-long event, held on Saturday, started with dozens of small services across the city before the crowds gathered at Kungstradgarden, which was filled to capacity by 15.00. The church bells of St Jacobs signalled the main event, where devotees from across the country professed their beliefs and renounced evil. Local cafés were packed out long into the Whitsun Eve and children played happily in the civic fountain.
“The way we see it at our church, things are starting to happen. More and more people are finding salvation and we actually believe there’s a revival afoot. You can feel it in the air; it’s so easy to talk about the gospel,” said Gustafsson. “I don’t come from a Christian background. I was 43 when I found salvation and I really have a life before and after. This is fantastic.”