Multi-religious pupil service
Around 300 Berlin schoolchildren - Christians, Jews and Muslims - celebrated a multi-religious service on Tuesday in the St. Mary's Church in Berlin's centre. The central theme of this special service, which the Evangelische Schulstiftung organized together with the House of One, was peace, as it is also at the centre of each of the religions involved. Or as Osman Örs, Imam of the House of One, said: "The spirit of respectful togetherness must be preserved and lived." This school service takes place every year before the Berlin Peace Run, which started one day later by some 4,500 students.
The multi-religious celebration was organized on the one hand by children of the Evangelical School Berlin Mitte (ESBM), who wore lithurgical robes of the three religions. At their side were Imam Örs, Kantorin Esther Hirsch and Pfarrer Gregor Hohberg (all House of One) as well as Pfarrerin Cordula Machoni of the St.Petri-St.Mary's Congregation. A moving togetherness, as Father Hohberg said: "Children of different religions who sing together, pray together, walk together is not only one of the most effective signs of peace we can imagine, but of course lived peace".
A strong sign also to the adult generation. Cantor Hirsch said: "It is our responsibility to pass this world on to the next generation - and it is the right of this next generation to demand responsible action from us. This peace run is a call to us."
Race for the House of One
The Berliner Friedenslauf is organized by the Forum Ziviler Friedensdienst, the Evangelische Schulstiftung and the Berliner Firmenlauf. It is intended as a sign of solidarity with refugees and a non-violent peace policy.
Every runner will find a sponsor in advance who will donate a fixed amount for each round of running. This year the money goes to a peace project in Israel and Palestine. In addition, the Evangelische Schulstiftung is once again supporting the House of One with the donations it has received.
The 1.9 kilometer long route leads past the Brandenburg Gate and through the Tiergarten. Last year, the peace run yielded around 40,000 euros, of which a peace project in Lebanon was supported.