SANT’ EGIDIO, press release and newsletter •
From September 10 to 12, Berlin is preparing to host one of the most important international events dedicated to peace: the International Meeting “The Audacity of Peace”, three days of dialogue and prayer for peace of the world religions together with representatives of the world of politics and culture, promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio. —
In a world context marked by the sad resurgence of war in Europe and by dramatic conflicts in many parts of the world, in addition to the increase of inequalities, poverty and ecological crisis, it is becoming increasingly urgent and necessary to imagine and build a different future. We need the audacity to promote and build peaceful coexistence, dialogue and solidarity at all levels. That is why men and women of various religions and cultures will gather for three days to talk and work together for a future of peace and solidarity in the spirit of Assisi.
In the video released in recent days (Italian with English subtitles), Marco Impagliazzo, President of Sant’Egidio, clearly explains the meaning of this meeting: to connect us with many who, throughout history, have had the audacity to tear down walls and build peace. And to do so today, in a difficult world, from the city that more than any other represents this tension and this hope. We are aware of how necessary it is.
No wall is for ever
Berlin, Marco Impagliazzo says, the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany, is a city that has had an eventful history, particularly in the past two centuries.
A history that has unfortunately also been marked by great suffering: the World War, totalitarianism, the Shoah, division, the Wall. So we look back on a history of great suffering when we come to Berlin. Yet we also think of the unexpectedly positive events that have taken place in this city: the fall of the Wall, which had divided the city of Berlin, and the whole of Germany in two for 28 years.
It was a very long wall, 43 kilometres in the city, 112 kilometres between Berlin and the GDR. The Wall fell, however, thanks to a peaceful revolution. I would like to emphasise, thanks to the audacity of so many who commited – diplomacy, the pressure from people, from civil society, and also thanks to the prayers of so many. Then the time of reunification began for Germany, of course, but also a time of democracy and freedom for tens of millions of people living in what used to be called Eastern Europe.
We can touch all this history with our own hands here in Berlin and understand how the audacity of those who made it possible for the Wall to fall could be our audacity today, the audacity of religions to bring down the great wall that divides the world today, that of war.
There are many walls, as visible as the war in Ukraine, Syria and other parts of the world, and as invisible as those that prevent migrants from reaching our continent or other continents safely and live a better life.
We are here to bring down walls. We are peaceful and united with all religions through unceasing prayer. However, we also wonder how we can be more audacious in bringing down the many walls that divide our world.
We will discuss all of this in twenty forums over two days in Berlin. These days will then conclude with the prayer for peace of the various religions and a great closing ceremony in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
Everyone is invited to be part of this event. Those who cannot attend in person in Berlin can join via social media and the website of the Community of Sant’Egidio. Many of the debates and discussions will be broadcast live.
So, welcome to Berlin for The Audacity of Peace!
Online Participation (scroll down to the registration form)
From her Schoenstatt shrine in Berlin, and all the shrines of the world, may the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt bless this important meeting and each of its participants.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org