Download PDF: [Prayer for Berlin – June 2010]
Good News- May 1st mostly peaceful
The best news is often no news. If nothing happens, nothing is reported. In the weeks preceding May 1st, the police and the press feared massive riots. However, it stayed – mostly – quiet. The Walpurgis Night, from April 30 to May 1, has been called the quietest Walpurgis Night in recent years. On the fringes of the demonstration of right-wing extremists, there were isolated conflicts between police and counter-demonstrators. The right-wing demonstration was aborted after only 600 meters.
On the morning of May 1, several hundred Christians prayed for peace for the day at the traditional May 1st worship service. A representative from the police challenged the Christians to be active in their districts not only on May 1, but also throughout the entire year. People at the MyFest celebrated peacefully on into the evening with no disturbances. The only scuffles between demonstrators and the police took place after the revolutionary May 1st Demonstration, which is generally known as violence-prone. They were, however, much less violent than last year.
- Thank God for the mostly peaceful May 1st and for all who helped to make it so.
- Pray that many people will actively work towards helping young people in their districts develop a non-violent viewpoint.
Projects of Hope: Jonah’s House (Jonas Haus)
Jonah’s House, a former street worker station in Berlin-Staaken, is open from 1:30 pm to 6 pm 365 days a year. Two evenings a week there are youth evenings until 9pm. Jonah’s House offers warm lunches, homework help, tutoring, and free-time activities from girl and boys from 6 to 20 years old. All of these activities are designed to convey Christian and social values to youth, who are often growing up without any kind of values. The Biblical story of Jonah is often told. Every day there is an opportunity for children to learn more about the Christian faith. This is well-received. Through its practical help, Jonah’s House brings hope to the children who live in the problem district where it is located. Everyone rejoices when one of the youth who attended a job application training actually gets an apprentice training position. The project is actively supported by staff of the Landeskirchliche Gemeinschaft in Spandau. Jonah’s House is funded by a foundation.
- Thank God for all the ways the love of God has been shown. Ask God to bless the staff who work at Jonah’s House
- Pray that many children will discover the Christian faith through Jonah’s House
- Pray that more churches in Berlin will be encouraged to start children and youth ministries as a result of the example of Jonah’s House
Motorcycle Gangs Antagonize One Another
Following an increasing number of violent clashes between motorcycle gangs in Berlin, the police are looking for ways to deal with the problem. There are two rival groups: The Hell’s Angels (about 150 members) and the Bandidos (about 350 members). After quite a few members of the Bandidos transferred to the Hell’s Angels, the clashes became increasingly violent with brawls and knifings, which have even led to some deaths. Members of a gang consider themselves to be part of a brotherhood, and for this reason, leaving the gang is in effect not possible. The police have continually tried to pressure the scene through more control. Many investigations are related to drugs, extortion, and organized crime. Because the gangs are organized nation-wide, one state alone cannot pronounce a ban.
- Pray that the police and the politicians can finds ways to secure peace in the city
- Pray that gangs can be effectively controlled and repressed
- Pray that gang members can be reached with the Gospel
Integration Law Planned
Berlin wants to be a pace setter of integration politics and is planning to be the first state to pass an integration law. Every fourth Berliner has an immigrant background, but only every one in ten is also in state service. For instance, there are no senators or state secretaries with a Turkish background. The law is designed to change this by improving entry chances of those with an immigrant background. For months there have been arguments about how to legislate such an extensive process.
The first draft should be done before the summer break, and the law is due to be discussed in Parliament in the fall. Some of the concepts that have been proposed have already created much opposition. For instance, one intention is to lower the necessary professional qualifications for people from immigrant backgrounds seeking jobs. This would lead to a preference of immigrants, and artificial obstacles would be put in the paths of qualified indigenous applicants. Therefore, it is debatable whether such an integration law would not create more problems rather than solving old ones.
• Pray for wisdom for the planning of an integration law
• Pray that this undertaking will not create new injustices
• Pray that new ways of helping those with immigrant backgrounds to obtain positions in state service can be discovered
Berlin as a Model Region for Electric Cars?
The federal government wants to speed up the development of electric cars. According to the “Federal Development Plan for Electro Mobility”, the government wants Germany to become a technological leader. In the next ten years, a million electric cars are to be put on the streets. The Berlin Senate wants to make the city a model region for electric cars.
The mayor plans to build a technology park on the grounds of the Tegel Airport, where universities, research institutes and companies can advance the development of electric cars together.
According to the concept of the Senate called “Model City Electro Mobility in Europe”, 50,000 to 100,000 cars would be field tested in Berlin.
Up until now, it has not been decided whether Berlin will be granted federal support for these plans to become a model region.
- Pray that Berlin can be instrumental in developing new models that will gain importance and recognition worldwide
- Pray for wisdom for all those who are working on these designs
- Pray that this will lead to new jobs