Ecumenical News International

"Social cohesion is at stake" - EKD peace spokesperson calls for an outward-looking society

January 26, 2015

Bremen (epd). Renke Brahms, spokesperson of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) on peace issues, has called on people to continue to demonstrate everywhere in Germany for a democratic and outward-looking society. "It is vital not to be paralyzed by the attacks in Paris and by anti-Islamic currents," underlined the presiding pastor of the Bremen Church in an interview with epd, the Protestant press agency.

Many people in Germany felt the urge to stand up against anti-Semitic, anti-Islamic and xenophobic currents in society, Brahms underlined. "We also stand for something: openness to the world, diversity, a welcoming culture towards refugees and immigrants." He was amazed and touched, he said, at how many people were giving practical support to those who had come to Germany from life-threatening situations in Iraq, Syria or the Mediterranean.

On Monday thousands of people again plan to go out and demonstrate against the anti-Islamic organization "Pegida" and its supporters. Demonstrations have been announced in several cities in Germany. Brahms is one of those backing the local alliance of groups organizing a rally on Bremen's central marketplace.

Brahms regards the way the "Pegida" movement is playing on people's concerns as a challenge and also a question affecting Germany's internal peace: "Social cohesion is at stake. Socially disadvantaged citizens need good practical prospects for their future, as do refugees and asylum-seekers. Issues range from affordable accommodation to fair pay and traineeships for young people. They are the basis of internal peace in Germany."



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