'God is good in the midst of evil.' Justin Bieber preaches it at Manchester concert
Justin Bieber made one of his most powerful statements yet in his faith that God's love will overcome the evil of terror.
The star took to the stage at Ariana Grande's One Love Manchester concert, where 50,000 people gathered to watch and hear the stars perform in tribute to the 22 people who died, along with those who were injured, the emergency services and all who responded. The crowds included the 14,000 who had been at the Manchester Arena on the night of the terror attack. The concert went ahead in spite of another terror attack in London last night, in which seven people were killed and nearly 50 injured, many critically.
Bieber, who sang his hit 'Love Yourself' and then got the crowd to chant 'love', said: 'I'm not going to let go of hope. I'm not going to let go of love. I'm not going to let go of God. Put your hand up if you're not going to let go. God is good in the midst of the darkness. God is good in the midst of the evil. God is in the midst, no matter what's happening in the world, God is in the midst and he loves you and he's here for you.'
He continued: 'I just want to take this moment to honour the people that were lost or that were taken. We love you so much. To your families, we love you so much. Put both hands up to honour those people right now.'
Bieber also sang his ballad Cold Water. He spoke of fighting evil with love.
Katy Perry, an oustanding presence on the stage as the setting sun lit the clouds in front of her, said: 'We will not be silenced!' She then performed her hit number 'Roar'. Ariana herself duetted with several stars and also a young schoolgirl, Natasha Seth, from Parr's Wood School, which is near the Manchester Arena. Natasha herself was unable to hold back her tears as she and Ariana came to the end of the song 'My Everything', and as this moment was captured by the BBC live broadcast, many in the audience and watching at home broke down as well.
Ariana later brought the concert to an emotional climax with a powerful performance of Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
The concert was broadcast live on BBC1. Miley Cyrus, Robbie Williams, Coldplay and Liam Gallagher were among the many stars who performed. Chris Martin and Ariana Grande sang 'Don't look back in anger', the Oasis hit that has been played and sung in the city many times in the last two weeks.
The whole event was imbued with a sense of godliness, and the power of good to triumph ultimately in the face of evil.
Before the concert, Bishop of Manchester David Walker, led a minute's silence. Also, Ariana and her mother Joan led a prayer backstage in memory of those who lost their lives in Manchester and London. And throughout the concert Joan was walking among the audience and talking to them. Joan had also been present in the audience during her daughter's Manchester Arena concert two weeks earlier.