Ecumenical News International

Role of faith, prayer in opening of Berlin Wall underscored

November 9, 2009

Berlin/Geneva (ENI). Ecumenical leaders believe that prayer and a commitment to peaceful change helped open the Berlin Wall 20 years ago without bloodshed. Archdeacon Colin Williams, general secretary of the Conference of European Churches, on 9 November underscored the role played by Christians and churches in the events of 1989, with "patient, determined, brave prayer" for peace, justice and the integrity of creation. "The scenes of joy which followed the opening of the Berlin Wall expressed a joy which was felt across Europe as walls, which had separated individuals from individuals, families from families, nations from nations, began to break open," said Williams.

In church near Berlin Wall site, leaders remember candlelight vigils

Berlin (ENI). Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, officials have returned to a church in what was East Berlin, where protests of candlelit prayers helped bring down communism in East Germany. Germany's political and church leaders marked the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall on 9 November with an ecumenical service at the Protestant church in eastern Berlin, named after the garden where the Bible records Jesus spending his last hours. "Today we look back at the fall of the wall 20 years ago," said Roman Catholic Archbishop Robert Zollitsch in his sermon at the Gethsemane church, only a few hundred metres from where the fortified concrete wall divided the city's eastern and western sectors from 1961 to 1989.



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