Monday, November 10, 2014

prayer, and the fall of the Berlin Wall

9th Nov 2014, is the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, which led to the fall of communism across Europe and the reunification of Germany.

Unlike many great political upheavals, it was achieved without bloodshed, and may not have happened at all without people like Christian Fuehrer, the pastor of the Nikolai Church in Leipzig. He decided a few years earlier in 1982 to hold Prayers for Peace every Monday at his East Germany church. in the early days, barely a dozen people turned up, but over several years it grew. It grew to such an extent that people couldn't fit into the church, After Monday prayers on 9 October 1989 more than 70,000 people assembled there in order to demonstrate.

It was only a few months since the Tienanmen Square massacre and so people were nervous, and hospitals prepared for the worst. Riot squads gathered and patrolled the streets, ready for anything. Armed only with candles and Jesus' message of 'Love your enemy' and 'no violence' in their hearts the people set out.

Chanting 'No Violence' and 'we are the people', they totally confused the riot squads.
Pastor F├╝hrer later said: "They didn't attack. They had nothing to attack for. East German officials would later say they were ready for anything, except for candles and prayer." 

And then, exactly one month later, a wall which had stood for decades, dividing families, a city, an a whole country came down.


For more read this BBC report or this interview with Christian Fuehrer. He wasn't Gandhi or Mandela, but pastor Fuehrer is one of my heroes. 

No comments: