The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
Prayer meetings were organised in churches and streets. “The church has to be a voice for values and respect”, a Christian politician in the city says.
About 1,000 people gathered in the centre of Chemnitz (Germany) on Sunday 2 September to express their desire to “listen to each other and relate to each other”.
Some days earlier, on Monday, a big far-right anti-migration protest called to stop the influx of foreigners. The German police opened several cases against protesters who gave the illegal Nazi salute.
About 6,000 called for “justice” after a German citizen died in a fight with foreigners. An Iraqi man and a Syrian have been charged with manslaughter.
According to German magazine Pro, Christians of different Christian churches met hours later to pray in one of the city’s churches. Catholic, Protestant and free evangelical churches issued prayer calls as the tension grew, and some believers prayed in groups as they walked through the city.
“THE MAJORITY MUST STAND UP”
On Sunday, a gathering against hate was organised by the Evangelical Lutheran church in Chemnitz. Messages in favour of dialogue and peace were heard.
Among those who attended the event was the Minister President of the State of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer. He called “the majority to stand up” for “those who look different, have a different belief, have been born elsewhere”. The politician added: “May God protect this beautiful city, all people in it, and those who look for a peaceful home”.
Christian Member of the Bundestag (Parliament of Germany) and member of the German Evangelical Alliance Frank Heinrich, joined the gathering and told German news agency Idea: “The church has to be a voice for values and law, absence of violence and respect – the church should not become political”.
Chancellor Angela Merkel also condemned the anti-migration movements.