Download as PDF: September 2018

Good News 1: Hotspot schools

Both preschool teachers and teachers in schools should benefit from the more than 17 million Euros that the Red-Red-Green government earmarked in the 2018/19 dual budget for salary supplements in special schools. According to this, around 2,000 teachers could receive about an additional 300 Euros per month. No such specific sum has been named for preschool teachers, but they can anticipate a salary raise as well.

  • Thank God for this specific measure

Good News 2: 41 Million for Berlin

Previously, the state had to prove that personal assets had been acquired illegally. A year ago this was reversed. Last year, this brought 41.5 million Euros to Berlin, and at the same time, it helped to combat organized crime. This did not even include 77 properties worth 9.3 million Euros possessed by an Arab family clan which were confiscated by the public prosecutor’s office in July. The new Berlin police chief Barbara Slowik announced that criminal parts of Arab clans would continue to be thoroughly investigated. More in the next article!

  • Thank God for the investigative success and the additional funds available to Berlin’s budget

Organized Crime

When the report of the Federal Criminal Office on Organized Crime in Germany was presented, it became clear that Berlin, with 68 cases, occupied second place. This is an increase of about 11% compared to the previous year. In particular, German-Arabian extended families are active in Berlin. It is believed that six clans are active in organized crime, but also Eastern European groups, for example from Bulgaria or Russia. A year ago, the burden of proof was reversed in this area. Thus, in raids in April and July assets of „unclear origin“ were able to be confiscated. These included real estate and luxury cars (see Good News). During the searches weapons and drugs also confiscated. Organized crime refers to systematic offenses (drug and human trafficking, theft and stealing) in combination with attempted influence on politics, administration and justice.

Prayer:

  • Pray for protection for the responsible policemen in department 4 of the state criminal police
  • Pray that the machinations and mafia structures will be uncovered and result in court cases
  • Pray for protection of Arab families suffering from clans (protection racket)
  • Pray that young family members will get out of these clans and not pursue a criminal career

 

Meeting Places with Immigrants

In the department „Transformation of Urban Spaces in an International Context“ at the Technical University of Berlin, Prof. Felicitas Hillmann is investigating how the integration of migrants into urban society can succeed and serve the growing city. „Quite often it is the marginal places where there are fewer regulations, more poverty, and therefore more risks and inconveniences in living together, that will be the starting point for such processes of change.“ In Berlin, such low-threshold places that facilitate the exchange between the most diverse people are district offices and public spaces, such as swimming pools, but also museums and libraries have the same potential. Since there is currently a lack of young people in many areas of public life (clubs, political parties and fire departments, etc.), this is where the connection could be made in a very practical way. Then what Hillmann calls „crocheted integration“ happens, but she sees the low amount of affordable housing as a big stumbling block in Berlin.

Prayer:

  • Pray for the creation of these low-threshold places which would foster encounters between diverse people
  • Pray for many encounters between new Berliners with a migration background and old Berliners
  • Pray for the establishment of a social attitude of „together“

 

Christians in the Startup-Scene

Berlin is known as highest-revenue startup scene in Germany. With around 100,000 employees, startups are one of the biggest employers in the city. To further the potential of this scene and to make it a blessing for our city, a new initiative called „Startup.life“ was launched under the umbrella of „Gemeinsam für Berlin“. The goal is to connect Christians within the startup scene in order to discover possible joint activity for the city. The 140 tickets for the first Meetup on Sept. 3 have already all been sold. Among other things, a mentoring program, co-working spaces and city-related projects are planned mid-term (www.startuplife.berlin).

Prayer:

  • Pray that as many Christians as possible in the startup scene are reached through the project and become visible as a community
  • Pray that the project becomes a blessing for the city
  • Pray for the emergence of sustainable work that contributes to a measurable improvement of current deplorable situations in Berlin

City Planning in Berlin

The search for a place to live in Berlin is getting more and more difficult. Families with children, seniors and students are particularly affected. Berlin desperately needs affordable living space. Urban planning should place social demands higher than the profit-oriented interests of investors. „What’s missing is a vision,“ says the Weimar professor of urban planning, Steffen de Rudder.

Prayer:

  • Pray for Building Senator Katrin Lompscher to see and correct mistakes and effectively advance housing construction
  • Pray that urban planning is not ruled by money, but rather that social aspects receive appropriate attention
  • Pray for an inspired vision of life in the future in Berlin with quality of life and human closeness

New Airport Opening?

The opening of the BER was originally planned for 2007 – since then there have been six delays. In light of this background, it is difficult to have confidence in the next planned opening date at the end of October 2020. In June 2018, the Red-Red-Green Senate determined that there would be no more funding from the Senate for the BER, as there is no urgent need for additional funding. A „Plan B“ to the opening of the airport in October 2020 was also rejected. Despite the problems with the sprinkler system, the fire alarm systems with 30,000 smoke detectors, cable systems and smoke ventilation control system, the Senate is holding on to the opening date, since the company Siemens wants to have these problems resolved by December 2018. Critics see the adherence to the planned opening date negatively, for instance SPD traffic expert Jörg Stroedter: „The commitment of FBB that the main terminal can go online in 2020, remains a pure question of faith.“ That’s a good opportunity for faith and prayer!

Prayer:

  • Lord, we believe that nothing is impossible for you: intervene so that the BER can be opened as planned!
  • Pray that the executing companies can solve all problems on schedule
  • Pray that the available funds are sufficient and used responsibly and purposefully
  • Pray for thorough and conscientious execution of all work, so that the building inspection control can quickly grant approval

Slow Internet

A survey by the Berlin Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) shows that every third Berlin company needs faster internet than it currently has available. The internet is simply too slow. If Berlin does not master the lame internet, the economic development of the city is in jeopardy.

Prayer:

  • Pray that Economics Senator Ramona Pop will set the right course
  • Pray for wise economic development in the city which will secure the livelihood for many

 

Keeping On:  Extremism

According to Homeland Security, extremist groups in Berlin are continuing to increase. The „Tagesspiegel“ citing the as yet un-published Annual Report 2017 reports that the numbers rose again: Salafists by 12%, so-called Reich Citizens 25%, supporters of the left-wing organization „Red Help“ 11%. An ongoing concern!

 

Dates

  • Prayer for City Politicians: September 12, 6pm in front of the Rote Rathaus
  • March for Life: September 22, 1:00-5:30pm start is at the Reichstag and ends with a worship service

 

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