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American Atheists National Convention headlines in Des Moines Easter weekend

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“He is risen!”

“He is risen indeed.”

These words were spoken in many churches in Des Moines this morning as Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. Considered the most popular, cornerstone holiday of the Christian faith, Easter Sunday represents the conquering of death and newness of life as Jesus Christ died for the sins of his people and rose from the dead three days later.

While Christians across Des Moines rejoiced in the salvation of their risen king, more than 1,000 people were also gathered in downtown Des Moines at the American Atheists National Convention, which is larger than any other previous atheist convention. The convention started Thursday evening at the Embassy Suites downtown and ran through today, Easter Sunday.

"A lot of people think Des Moines is a Christian city, but in reality it's an American city that includes a lot of atheists in Des Moines," said David Silverman, American Atheists president.

Both Christians and atheists alike this weekend hope that their gatherings and beliefs will inspire questions and conversations among those outside of their respective viewpoints. Both groups hope to educate and inspire others to consider following their same beliefs and values.

Hope in eternity and in healing, forgiveness and redemption versus hope in oneself and no promise of anything. I know what I would choose – what do you think?

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