* By Katja Buck
Friday evening when the leaders of the G20 states will be meeting in Hamburg and discussing global economic, social, environmental and political issues, the churches in Germany are inviting people in Germany and all over the world to a common peace prayer.
“We will bring our lament and hope before God”, states the church alliance for the G20 summit, “global.gerecht.gestalten” (which translates roughly as: shaping globalization fairly; or: global – fair – redesign).
The alliance has been established to accompany the summit meeting with intercession and to participate in peaceful activities before and during the summit in Northern Germany. Its members are Christian churches in Northern Germany, Hamburg’s main churches and congregations, academies, as well as the Protestant aid agency Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World) and the Association of Protestant Churches and Missions in Germany (EMW).
Many people are looking with great concern at the G20 summit. A lot of demonstrations are scheduled during the next days. Many reject the meeting itself as undemocratic and criticize that too many states are not represented, although the summit is dealing with global issues. Others criticize that the topics on the agenda don’t focus on the most important questions to make the world sustainable for the future. And there will be also demonstrations against invited state representatives for human rights violations in their countries or their refusal to join the efforts against climate change.
And many people in and around Hamburg are afraid that there will be also violent groups among the registered demonstrations. For this the prayer for peace includes both: that God may bless the state leaders with wisdom, prudence and courage and that He may protect the security forces and the demonstrators, that the peaceful activities will come out on top.
On Saturday morning, there will also be an ecumenical prayer service in one of the main churches in town. Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee, will be preaching, alongside Roman Catholic Bishop Charles Jason Gordon, speaker of the Debt20 group of personalities from critically indebted countries.
Representatives of the municipality of Hamburg, of the Roman Catholic aid agency Misereor, of the Protestant aid agency Brot für die Welt and from many other local and international initiatives will be present. “In common singing, praying, and listening to God's Word, we set a sign for a more just world: for the chance of education, for the support of refugees, for a fair method of resolving the debt crises, for an equitable distribution of resources”, the Working Group of Christian Churches in Hamburg (ACKH) states in a press release.
The church alliance “global.gerecht.gestalten” provides on its homepage written material such as prayers, hymns, impulses for meditation and background information on the most burning global issues which can be used in the congregations.
Download the texts (mostly bilingual, in German and English) at:
Call to Action: G20 leaders must lead fight against hunger (WCC press release of 6 July 2017)
Katja Dorothea Buck is a German journalist for politics and religions.