Ecumenical News International

What happened in Leipzig around prayers and toppling communism

October 08, 2009

Leipzig (ENI). A prayer service for peace in an historic Lutheran church in the East German city of Leipzig 20 years ago triggered the chain of events that exactly a month later led to the opening of the Berlin Wall. As people gathered after work on the afternoon of 9 October 1989 in the Nikolaikirche (St Nicholas' Church) and three other inner-city churches in Leipzig to pray for peace and democracy, the signs of potential violence were uppermost in most people's minds. Two days earlier, as Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was in East Berlin for the 40th anniversary celebrations of the East German state, pro-democracy demonstrations there had been put down with force.



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