A call for reconciliation
Representatives of various religions in Berlin commemorated the victims of the Islamist terrorist attacks in Vienna, Nice, Paris and Dresden on Friday (November 6, 2020) with a multi-religious prayer for peace. Among others, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist representatives as well as various Christian denominations - Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox - took part in the prayer.
The clergy condemned all forms of violence and called for peace and reconciliation. Bridges must be built across differences and borders, they said. Rabbi Andreas Nachama of the House of One said that peace means mutual respect and responsibility for a world in which everyone lives together.
Islamic theologian Kübra Dalkilic of Forum Dialog stressed that the attackers, who allegedly kill for God, have nothing in common with Islam: "Terror knows no religion. If someone kills a human being, it is as if he had killed the whole of humanity." That is how it is written in the Koran.
Prayer for peace under Coventry Cross of Nails
Every Friday at noon, prayers for peace are held at St. Mary's Church on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, including the day of multi-religious prayer. The parish of St.Petri-St.Marien belongs to the network of the so-called Cross of Nails parishes. They originated from the reconciliation initiative that started from Coventry during the Second World War.
This tradition dates back to November 14, 1940, when the German Luftwaffe bombed the English city of Coventry. Large parts of the city were destroyed and more people were killed than in any other air raid on England. Nevertheless, in a national radio broadcast from the ruins of the destroyed St. Michael's Cathedral at Christmas, the then Provost of the Cathedral, Richard Howard, called not for revenge but for reconciliation. As a symbol of trust and shared responsibility for peace, so-called crosses of nails were formed from medieval nails from the destroyed cathedral. These crosses went to German cities also destroyed in the war, including Berlin to St. Mary's Church. Thus, an international network for peace and reconciliation was created.