Monday, October 8, 2007

The power of the church

Embedded in this story (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=500820&objectid=10467088) is a cool account of a church who stood against injustice and helped to lead to the fall of communism in Germany. It speaks of the power of passive resistance in oppressive contexts. As in many of these situations, it often takes years to get there, but it can be done. We who name Jesus as Lord need to stand against injustice. The uprising was in East Germany in 1989 in a Lutheran Church led by a pastor Christian Fuhrer who simply inaugurated prayers for peace, carrying candles to indicate non-violence. This led to 400,000 filling the centre of the city and ultimately 31 days later the fall of the Berlin Wall and communism in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania! As the writer notes, 'That church provided the institutional context in which to challenge the state. And the faith of so many ordinary people gave them the courage to go into the streets on that evening when paratroops had been flown in, the Stasi were armed and hospitals had been cleared to receive hundreds of casualties.' Cool! The writer notes too, that this doesn't always have the same result with many dying or being rejected for doing the same.

Either way, it is the call of Christ, for us to be at the forefront of such resistance, leading the world in standing against injustice, so that God's great dream can be fulfilled.

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