Prayermails


Download as PDF: December 17/January 18

Good News: 7,8% more births

Last year, 41,000 children were born in Berlin. This represents an increase of 7.8 percent compared to 2015 – 0.4 percent above the national average. There have not been so many babies in Berlin since the ba-by boom in the 60s. Let’s welcome each baby as a miracle of God and congratulate the parents!

  • Thank God for the increasing courage for new life and parenthood

Christmas – Peace on Earth?

There are mixed feelings about Christmas. For some, it is a celebration they look forward to with bright eyes and full anticipation. For others, it is a time when family tensions can no longer to be evaded. And still others feel particularly excluded during the Christmas season – because they have no one with whom they can celebrate or because they are new here in Germany and do not yet know Christmas customs. We also need to pray for the protection of the Christmas markets from terror and violence. A year ago on December 19, an assassin rammed a truck into a Christmas market. 12 people died and 60 were injured.

Prayer:

  • Pray that the message „God with us“ will touch many non-believing people who, whether because of tradition or curiosity, visit worship services or Christian celebrations
  • Pray that Christians will invite lonely people to their house to celebrate together
  • Pray that Christmas markets will be protected from terror

New Tourism Concept

It is a gift that many people from all over the world visit our interesting city. Almost half of them come from abroad. In 2016, 12.7 million people visited Berlin; 31.1 million overnight stays were recorded. The numbers continue to rise slightly. For the residents in the districts which are particularly popular with tourists, the many visitors can also sometimes be a burden. The Berlin Senate is currently working intensively on a new tourism concept that aims, among other things, to increase the marketing of the outer districts of the city and to provide more contact between Berliners and visitors. Electric buses and other measures should make tourism more environmentally friendly.

Prayer:

  • Pray for a smart, sustainable tourism concept
  • Pray for good measures that combine tourism promotion and protection of local residents
  • Pray that more tourists stay longer and discover the city and its residents

Day of Prayer “ONE in Christ”

A prayer day for the city with this motto and the subtitle “pray together, celebrate, act“, will take place for the first time on January 20, 2018. At the end of the Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer Evangelical, and in the middle of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Evangelical Alliance, Together for Berlin, and the Ecumenical Council Berlin-Brandenburg are inviting Christians to come together for a day of prayer. At this event, Christians from different church backgrounds, cultures, and generations will meet each other, united in Jesus Christ. The sponsors would rather have “the greatest possible diversity than the lowest common denominator“. The event begins at 3:30 pm in the Evangelisch-Freikirchliche Gemeinde Schöneberg, Hauptstraße 125. We will begin together with music and songs to the glory of God and an input. We will then pray at twelve different „stations“ in various forms and traditions, distributed throughout the building. A children’s program will be provided. After a joint closing session, there is time to meet others over snacks and drinks. The day will close with the usual prayer concert of the youth network Berlin UniteD, beginning at 7:00 pm.

Prayer:

  • Pray that the broad unity of Christians honours God and encourages those involved
  • Pray for success for the complex preparations and planning
  • Pray that the world will realize that the Father has sent the Son (John 17:23)

Anti-Drugs-Campaign

In Germany, the use of drugs and the number of drug-related deaths continue to increase. The situation in Berlin is particularly frightening with a 15% increase in deaths in the last year, mostly due to heroin, cocaine and crystal meth in particular. But the capital is also the leader in cannabis use. The red-red-green government in Berlin wants to re-design its drug policy. This is shown, for instance, in Görlitzer Park, one of the main places for drug deals with hashish and marijuana. Following unsuccessful attempts to stop the dealing, so-called park walkers are now being used to keep the dealing at least within tolerable limits. This seems to work, because the accompanying crime has decreased. There is also a preventive offensive, which gives the Berlin specialist department 300,000 € more for prevention and education work in schools. Also, consumption rooms and so-called „drug checks“ are to be created in which police and consumers can check the substances.

Prayer:

  • Pray that an effective way out of dependency can be found for drug addicts
  • Pray especially that the prevention work among young people is fruitful

Nursing Care Crisis

Recently there was a strike at the Berlin Charité Clinic because the schedules for surgery are too full and there are too few staff. Nationwide and also in Berlin, the problem is growing: the number of (aging) needy people is increasing, but the number of nurses is increasing only slowly. This applies to outpatient home care as well as nursing home care and hospitals. There are currently very few nurses on the job market. Politicians urgently need to counteract this problem. The topic should be an urgent part of the negotiations for a new federal government.

Prayer:

  • Pray for determined action on the part of politicians at the state and federal level
  • Pray for strength and motivation for the care-givers
  • Pray for more Christians in nursing jobs

Keeping On: Crime

At Kottbusser Tor, Görlitzer Park, which is well-known for problems with drug dealers, and at the Warsaw Bridge, the number of crimes has declined compared to the previous year. There were fewer acts of violence and fewer thefts of bags or bicycles for instance. On the other hand, the drug trade increased in some cases (article above). It’s not that the state is powerless, but it is limited in its resources. Politicians of all parties did little, and the police force was neglected. Currently, nine large clans of Arab descent dominate the crime scene in Berlin. There are also rockers from various clubs, and the Russian mafia is also active.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for partial decline in crime and pray for further decrease

On a personal note: Rosemarie Stresemann is leaving the editorial team

Rosemarie Stresemann is a well-known name in the prayer scene in Berlin and now also nationwide. After 15 years she is ending her cooperation with the Berlin prayer mail and will now concentrate entirely on the „Wächterruf“, a continuous prayer chain for Germany with monthly letters and increasingly also conferences and seminars. The retired primary school teacher combines intensive and critical political research with a great passion for (often prophetic) intercession, a combination rarely found. Rosemarie has not only influenced the prayer mail, but also the prayer scene in Berlin significantly. From 2003 to 2016 she also co-headed the monthly meeting of the „Forum Prayer“ by Together for Berlin together with Axel Nehlsen. She has been responsible for an infinite amount of impetus for prayer for the city and also a significant portion of the texts and prayer requests in this prayer mail. It’s great to see our God sharpening the gifts and profiles of His people and using them for the coming of His kingdom. This also applies to Rosemarie’s future tasks. People can express their thanks in written or verbal form, but it is God who repays in his own way and creates lasting fruit. In that sense: May God bless you, Rosemarie!

Dates

Dec. 13, 6pm Prayer for City Politicians, Rotes Rathaus

Jan. 10, 6pm Prayer for City Politicians, Rotes Rathaus

Jan. 14-21 International Week of Prayer sponsored by the Evangelical Alliance. A brochure with Berlin dates can be obtained in participating churches and online here:

https://www.evangelische-allianz-berlin.de/aktuelles

Jan. 20, 3:30pm Day of Prayer ONE (See article above)

 

Warm greetings from the editorial team (Kerstin Hack, Axel Nehlsen, Anna Wunderlich) and from the GfB-leadership team Ana Hoffmeister. We wish you all a meaningful Advent and Christmas season!

 

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Download as PDF: November 2017

Good News: Peter Steudtner freed

After a hundred days, on October 26th, the human rights activist Peter Steudtner (and some others) were surprisingly released from detention in Turkey. The Amnesty International activist had been accused of supporting a terrorist organization, and accusation which obviously could not be upheld. The Gethsemane church in the Prenzlauer Berg had been holding intercessory prayer for him during the entire time. We, together with the church, are grateful for the answer to prayer. Other Germans, however, remain unjustly imprisoned in Turkey.

Turkish Consular Teaching

The Turkish Consulate School, in which Turkish children in municipal schools can voluntarily participate in the afternoons, has been operating for a long time. The original intention was to learn the mother tongue and local history of the country of origin. Classes also take place in other languages ​​and are a relic of the time when the Italian, Yugo-Slavic and Turkish guest workers brought their families to Germany or started a family here. The concept is now completely outdated. After the attempted coup against Erdogan, the view of the Turkish consular education has changed. The curriculum, which was designed in Ankara, has been more closely examined and, according to the Education Administration, contains „clearly religious and nationalistic content“. A potential influence of the Erdogan-influenced authoritarian government is becoming increasingly clear. Therefore, on the one hand, a change in the curriculum is necessary; on the other hand, the state would like to develop an alternative offer, but the Senate has not come up with a concept yet. So far, fees for the classes have not been charged, but that is now changing. The Mitte district now wants to charge € 30,000. The Turkish community has protested. Native-speaker instruction in Turkish or also now in Arabic offered by school administration requires teacher training that does not exist yet. Therefore, adult education centers are being included.(Tagesspiegel 22.9.17)

Prayer:

  • Pray for a completely new concept of mother-language teaching that integrates
  • Pray for good transitional solutions
  • Pray for all students of other nationalities, that they will get enough support at school for their specific needs

The Amri Case and the Consequences

The detailed report of the Special Representative Jost in connection with the terrorist attack by Anis Amri on the Breitscheidplatz in Berlin on December 19, 2016 has been completed. It became evident that there were many wrong decisions and serious mistakes on the part of the authorities. They range from non-granted support by the Berlin State Criminal Office to subsequent file forgery. On November 10, 2017, the Amri Investigation Committee of the Berlin State Parliament will meet. According to Berlin Interior Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) there will also be an inquiry committee from the Bundestag. This is due to the mistakes made by the state authorities and also at the federal level, and the lack of communication between the security authorities. Since „there are still a number of potential attackers in the country“ who should be deported, this should, according to Jost, be better organized at the federal level (tagesschau.de).

Prayer:

  • Thank God that the mistakes were openly addressed within the security forces
  • Pray that good conclusions will be drawn from the report that bring improvement
  • Pray for security, order and God’s protection over our country

Vision for Berlin 2050

„Berlin 2050 Concrete Density“ is the name of an exhibition designed to inspire debate on urban development. Unfortunately, for the past 20 years, no Senate has dared to try to coordinate urban development. However this is urgently needed. Berlin is growing by 60,000 people every year. The housing shortage is massive, and office space is now scarce. There is a lack of schools and day-care centres. Berlin is growing and bursting at the seams.

Now well-known architects and professors have given their students five areas for creative rethinking: Westkreuz around the ICC, Westhafen near Wedding, Karl-Marx-Allee, Charlottenburg-Nord, Niederschöneweide. The result is images of a new Berlin, which is more diverse, colourful and bigger. They want to encourage courageous brainstorming about the future of the city. „But the Senate is content with careful repairs and additions to the cityscape, as if the wall were still protecting the West Berliners from the market and competition and the East Berliners from the class enemy.“ (Tagesspiegel Oct. 13).

Other obstacles include the competence-wrangling between the Senate and the districts, the clientele interests of the three parties in the Senate and residents‘ initiatives and referendums that seem to resist everything new. In other areas (such as start-ups, culture, medical technology) Berlin is rightly known to be very innovative – does it not also deserve innovative, courageous urban planning?

The Exhibition: Architektur Galerie Berlin, Karl-Marx-Allee 98, 10243 Berlin; October 13 – November 11

Prayer:

  • Pray for more courage for creative city planning
  • Pray that the innovative and creative God will equip people to do that
  • Pray that urban development becomes top priority

Homeless in Parks

More and more homeless people are staying in public parks. The problem came to light among the public after a woman was murdered in Tiergarten. The number of homeless people in Berlin is increasing. These include rejected asylum seekers, drug addicts, or especially many Eastern Europeans looking for work, and also Germans. There is alcoholism and drug-trade. Young people and young men are prostituting themselves. Anyone wanting to prevent this will encounter hate and violence. The police do not want to crack down because they do not want to be appear to be too harsh. The district mayor of Neukölln, Franziska Giffey (SPD), reports that, in cooperation with Caritas, it is organizing voluntary bus return trips for homeless people to Eastern European EU countries.

The Berliner Stadtmission often feels the significant increase in homelessness first. It is a well-known contact point and also offers a hygiene centre for the homeless. The Stadtmission does not feel that deportation is a solution. Housing the homeless also requires increased efforts and a concept. There are not nearly enough places for the winter.

Prayer:

  • Pray that enough overnight places can be found before winter
  • Pray for increased Senate efforts for an overall solution for homelessness
  • Thank God for all the Christians who wholeheartedly work or volunteer

Safety in Traffic

White-painted bicycles can be seen in different places around Berlin, commemorating cyclists who have died there. It happens relatively often that a truck does not see a cyclist when turning, and the person on the cycle gets run over.

Both technical and practical solutions are needed – from a large glass window as a passenger door (required beginning 2022 in the EU for new trucks) to a right-turn green light for cyclists, re-construction of intersections, or a truck ban in inner cities.

Prayer:

  • Pray for God’s protection and preservation for all those using the roads
  • Pray for the development of efficient, sustainable and implementable concepts

Suicide in Local Transport

Even if no exact figures are known to us – the number of emergency medical responses in the S-Bahn and subway trains appears to be increasing. In the course of his professional life, an S-Bahn driver runs over an average of two people. Often suicide is the reason. Sometimes it results from brutal behaviour of other passengers.

Prayer:

  • Pray that God would encounter and give hope those who are considering suicide
  • Pray that effective measures can be found to protect those using public transport

Keeping On: Air Berlin

Following the insolvency of the airline Air Berlin, around 3,000 of the 8,000 existing employees are still without a job perspective. Flight operations were discontinued the end of October. The involved federal states and the federal government could not agree on an Auffanggesellschaft, which would have helped employees receive further training or continued employment. But most likely a Transfergesellschaft will be able to help 1,200 people find new employment. The Senate, the Deutsche Bahn and others are offering jobs. Let us pray for jobs and perspectives for those affected!

Dates

  • Nov 8, 6-7 pm, Prayer for city politicians at the Rote Rathaus
  • Nov 24, 5-7 pm Prayer for the Kotti, Adalbertstraße 97, Gebetskeller Kreuzberg

 

New: Our Prayer Mail App in German

  • Download the app “Deutschland betet” from the app store (available for Android and IOS)
  • Subscribe to “Gebet für Berlin” and then “bis Ende des Anliegens” Done!

 

Subscribe: Go to http://eepurl.com/TqJSz and enter your e-mail address into the data base.

Download as PDF: October 2017

Good News: Digital Economy is growing

In recent years, the digital economy in Berlin has grown considerably. 77,000 jobs are now available in this sector – more than in any other German city. 8.5% of Berlin’s economic power comes from the digital economy.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for this good development
  • Pray for many new jobs in this sector

27 Years of German Unity

On October 3, we will celebrate 27 years of German unity – and thus also the unification of our formerly divided city. But living conditions in the east and the west have not evened out yet. The results of the Bundestag elections differed widely between east and west, and also in Berlin: large majorities for the Linke and the AfD in the east, the SPD and the Greens in the central parts of the city, CDU majorities in the north-west and south-west, but also strong growth for the AfD even there. One may see this as an image of colorful and diverse Berlin, but it also reveals the massive contrast in the (dis)satisfaction with our democratic system, in the social sector, and in the feeling of quality of life. Unity in heads and hearts is by no means completed. The contrasts have actually grown. The situation needs political wisdom, recovery of trust in politics and political parties, civic involvement – and our prayer.

Prayer:

  • Pray for new bridges of conversation and mutual understanding in the city
  • Pray that politicians, churches and communities will actively seek people out and take their worries seriously
  • Pray that God’s grace leads us to the completion of inner unity

Thousands of Lateral Career-Change Teachers

In 2017, according to official Senate information, a total of 3,004 teachers were hired in Berlin schools, including 1,254 who came as lateral career-change teachers, (without the usual teacher training), 944 in August alone, 558 of which are in elementary schools (https://www.gew-berlin.de/375.php). The vice-chairman of staff, Haase, told the Berliner Zeitung, „Another complicating factor is that the quality of the applicants among the lateral career-change teachers has now declined considerably. In addition, a lack of knowledge of German and pedagogical training is a problem for teachers in elementary schools, but the majority of those with a lateral career-change are employed there. Furthermore, the situation could be reversed as early as 2022, since the number of graduates could then be far above the remaining need for new teachers, because the jobs would then be occupied by lateral career-change teachers. (http://www.berliner-zeitung.de/28253276 © 2017)

Prayer:

  • Pray for sound judgement on the part of those responsible for the choice of lateral career-change teachers
  • Pray for wisdom for every teacher with their students in the classroom and with their colleagues
  • Pray for good, long-lasting ways of dealing with teacher vacancies, so that new graduates are enabled to enter the profession

Rents continue to rise despite attempt to stabilize rates

In 2015, Berlin was the first state to introduce a program to put the brake on the rising cost of rental housing. It was hoped that this could be a suitable means of stopping the rents in Berlin from rising further. A Berlin court has now declared that law probably unconstitutional. Nevertheless, Lompscher, the Senator for city development, wants to sharpen this law even more. The law remains in effect pending a decision before the Federal Constitutional Court. Unfortunately, the rental price development in Berlin has not eased much. Too many exceptions prevent this law from being an effective key against rising rents. Most political parties are in favour of launching further construction programs to ease the housing market.

Prayer:

  • Pray that the rental brake will prevent extreme rent increases
  • Pray for legal clarity, including the implementation of the law
  • Pray for fast construction of affordable housing

Tegel Airport – what’s next?

The referendum, which took place at the same time as the Bundestag election, resulted in a clear majority of 56.1% to keep the Tegel airport (41.7% against), even after the 2019 hoped-for completion of the airport BER. The referendum did not contain a legislative initiative and is not politically binding. It merely states that the Senate should take all necessary steps to continue the operation of Tegel. The Red-Red-Green coalition in the Senate was and is against it. The outcome of the vote is seen as an expression of the dissatisfaction with the current Senate policy. The advocates of a closure of Tegel, above all the more than 300,000 residents who have been plagued by noise, have already announced they will pursue legal action complaints, should Tegel actually remain open. Now Mayor Müller wants to speak with the federal government and the state of Brandenburg as co-partners. As they have been until now, both are for the closure of Tegel no later than six months after the opening of the BER, which is the current contract. Müller wants to appoint a „recognized neutral personality“, who will use a “transparent and open” roundtable to check whether and how a continued use of the Tegel airport is legally watertight. It is a difficult situation legally, ecologically, and politically.

Prayer:

  • Pray for legal clarity, political cleverness and divine wisdom
  • Pray for an early completion of BER
  • Pray for relief for the residents affected by noise

On the Way to Inclusion

At the beginning of the new school year, inclusion began in the primary schools in Berlin. Teaching which takes pupils with disabilities and learning constraints into a regular class must be different. Inclusion education therefore actually means a change in the educational system. This new education experiment is starting with a very uncertain outcome. In other states (for example, Hamburg and Bremen), which have implemented a complete inclusion too quickly, inclusion has already been described as a failure by education experts. It led to a complete overburdening of the teachers. In Berlin, therefore, they want to proceed more slowly. The existing special schools for children with learning difficulties are gradually being closed. However, having both special schools for children with learning difficulties and inclusion does not appear to be a great solution either. In Berlin, children with learning disabilities and behavioural problems are to be included first. Over 60 percent of the children with special needs have behavioural problems (!). Inclusion will start first with those beginning school and those in the third grade. Specialists are assigned to normal classes according to a specific allocation key. But this allocation alone does not constitute a new educational system. Those who have taught know how often such specialist teachers are pulled out of their assigned class to substitute elsewhere. Is it really good for the students to be taught in mixed learning groups? Many students with behavioural problems simply need more attention and smaller groups. All those affected are now approaching this experiment with much uncertainty.

Prayer:

  • Pray that inclusion is introduced cautiously and problems can be identified in a timely manner
  • Pray that the teachers involved receive the support they need
  • Pray that the needs of the many students with behavioural problems will be recognized

Keeping On: Places for Births

A special summit was recently sponsored by the Minister of Health, Dilek Kolat. There are far too few places in delivery rooms for the increasing number of births (a great development!). There is also a great lack of midwives. Let us pray for solutions!

New: Our Prayer Mail App

We are pleased to report that the prayer requests from the Berlin prayer mail can now be accessed directly on your smartphone via the prayer app “Deutschland betet”. This app is provided by „Round Table Prayer” (the Lausanne Movement German Branch), which is also responsible for its content. This interdenominational network wants to strengthen prayer in all areas of society and to integrate it into a comprehensive perspective for our country (http://deutschlandbetet.de).

Installation (Sorry, it is only in German):

  • Download the app “Deutschland betet” from the app store (available for Android and IOS)
  • Subscribe to “Gebet für Berlin” and then “bis Ende des Anliegens”
  • Done! The individual prayer requests will be distributed as notifications throughout the month on the appropriate date

Dates

  • Oct. 11, 6-7 pm Prayer for City Politicians at the Rote Rathaus
  • Oct. 27, 5-7 pm, Prayer for the Kotti, Adalbertstraße 97, Gebetskeller Kreuzberg

 

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Download as PDF: July/August 2017

Good news: People encounter God

Christians who work among refugees are experiencing a great openness among the people. New Berliners who are refugees often accept the offer of prayer for themselves. Many experience God’s touch, often also physical healing. It also often happens that God himself has prepared them for an encounter with Jesus, for instance like a man who said to a Christian: „Can you tell me what Jesus wants from me – he appears to me every night (!) in a dream!”

  • Thank God for the many people who are open to an encounter with Jesus – and pray for sufficient workers in this field

Good news: Unemployment is falling

For the first time in many years unemployment in Berlin fell below 9%. There are still 128,340 people seeking employment, but that is nevertheless 10,200 fewer than 2016. In some districts, the number of unemployed is already close to the federal average of 5.6%, while in other districts – such as Neukölln at 12% – are still clearly above the national average.

  • Thank God for the people who have found employment – and pray for a further decrease in unemployment

Keep Tegel Airport open?

Intense debates about the Tegel Airport have been going on for months. Tegel Airport was to close after the long-awaited and repeatedly postponed opening fo the BER airport in Schönefeld. The three shareholders, (Berlin, Brandenburg, and the federal government) had long since decided this with their respective elected parliaments. Now, initiated by the FDP, a referendum will take place in Berlin on the day of the Bundestag elections (9/24). Surveys currently suggest a majority want to keep the airport open. The referendum would not be binding, however, because it is not about a law that has been passed. The red-red-green government coalition and the governing mayor have just reconfirmed their clear position in favour of closure. The CDU drew back from its previous opinion and will ask its members.

Previous court orders specify that the BER may be operated only when the other airports are closed. A new report is casting doubt on that. However, keeping Tegel open would lead to a wave of law suits. Noise protection for hundreds of thousands of residents in compliance with today’s standards would devour immense costs. And the planned 5,000 apartments, technological and educational facilities on the Tegel site are urgently needed.

Prayer:

  • Pray that the debate, which is currently partly populist, will become more objective through sound facts
  • Pray for a fast completion of BER
  • Pray for a decision that benefits Berliners long-term and is good for the city

Crisis in Day-Care Centres

In Berlin, there are currently around 165,000 places in day-care centres. Many parents subjectively perceive a crisis in the day-care centres because it is very difficult to find an available place. Objectively, there are enough available free places. By 2020 30,000 new places will have been added. However, it is not enough that there are available places – there is a desperate need for preschool teachers. There are clearly too few professionals. The education administration therefore wants to train many more who desire a career change. More and more refugee children also need places in a day-care centre, but the number of needed places cannot be calculated exactly. What is clear, however, is that children need intensive attention and reliable relationships, even more so the younger they are. If there is a serious lack of teachers, the remaining ones in the day-care centres can no longer teach what is necessary, and both children and teachers suffer under these conditions.

Prayer:

  • Pray for blessing and strength for pre-school teachers
  • Pray that many who are looking for a change in career will apply to be trained
  • Pray that women who stay home with their children will once again be valued

New Senator: Elke Breitenbach

The 56-year-old Elke Breitenbach from the Left Party is the Berlin Senator for Integration, Labour and Social Affairs. She grew up in Hessen and studied politics in Berlin. She worked, among other things, for a research project on vocational schools and trade unions and at the Sachsenhausen Memorial Centre. From 1992 to 1997 she was a trade union secretary. She experienced a year of unemployment herself. From 2002 to 2003, she was a personal adviser to the Senator for Health, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection. Since 1998, she has been a member of the PDS (now Die Linke, The Left) and its deputy party chairman. She views the GDR past of the party quite critically. From 2003 on she has been a member of the State Parliament and spokeswoman for the areas of work, social affairs, inclusion and senior citizens. Because of the separation of office and mandate, which she supported, she gave up her mandate in January. Breitenbach has lived for 20 years in a shared flat with a female college friend. Her life partner lives there also. In the future, she wants to find a triple or even larger shared-flat to counteract isolation in old age (Interview BILD 12/13/2016).

In addition to other concerns, the senator wants to raise the minimum wage. It was a small success that the Senate raised the minimum wage by 50 cents for its own employees beginning July 1. The rates for Hartz IV need to be raised, especially for children. She is committed to the provision of jobs for the long-term unemployed and for refugees and to qualification programmes, for which employers should receive a payroll subsidy. She is also in favour of publically subsidised employment, for which the federal government should provide a solid funding base.

Prayer:

  • Pray for opportunities for implementation for the Senator’s sensible social demands
  • Pray for success for the Senate Administration’s plans for the benefit of the disadvantaged
  • Pray for personal blessing for the Senator

Rigaer Straße

Violent outbursts happen continuously in the Rigaer Straße in Friedrichshain. One of the last occupied houses in Berlin is Rigaer Str. 94. Until now eviction has not been possible because the owner had not yet provided a complete set of all the necessary legal titles. A new court case has now also failed because the managing director of the British owner company died in May. In June, alleged left-wing extremists attacked vehicles from local residents and police officers. As the G-20 summit in July 7th and 8th in Hamburg approaches, more and more left-wing extremists are gathering in Berlin. An attempt to curb the violence was made at the end of June by paving the Rigaer Straße and the Liebigstraße. Since the left-wing radicals continually „armed“ themselves with cobblestones, it was decided at short notice to pave a small part of the street and the intersection. Dealing with left-wing extremism is a political problem for the red-red-green Senate. In the coalition agreement, the topic of left-wing extremism and, in particular, violence from the left was not mentioned at all. Only right-wing extremism is in view. Therefore, the CDU has now called for an action plan for the Rigaer Straße. There is still no clear concept of how to protect the residents from further attacks.

Prayer:

  • Pray that all parties will cooperate to find a solution for the problem of violence
  • Pray for insight into what will lead to long-term peace
  • Pray for the protection of the police and firemen when they are serving in that area

Summer Break

Summer vacation begins on July 20 for thousands of Berlin students – for most, a long-awaited time without

teachers, exams, and grades. Many travel with their parents or go to summer camps. There are good offers from churches and Christian organisations. Others spend the holidays in the city because a holiday is not possible financially or time-wise. The city and various independent or Christian sponsors offer vacation programmes.

Prayer:

  • Pray that the children, parents and other vacationers will have a relaxing vacation
  • Pray that Christian retreats and summer programmes will help people (above all, young people) to get to know God

Keeping On: Protection from Terrorrism

The terrorist attacks in London, as well as the latest attacks on the Berlin S-Bahn clearly show us that cities are vulnerable – terror is possible almost everywhere. We continue to pray for the protection of our city from attacks, that attacks in planning will be discovered beforehand, and that radicalized people have a radical encounter with the loving God. .

Dates

  • July 12 and August 9, 6-7 pm, prayer for city politicians at the Rotes Rathaus
  • July 28 and August 25, 5-7pm, prayer for Kreuzberg, Adalbertstraße 97, Gebetskeller

 

Spandau is the first district to have its own prayer website: http://spandaugebet.de

This prayer mail is for both July and August. We wish everyone a relaxing and blessed summer and/or holiday! By the way: God never goes on holiday and is always reachable everywhere for our prayers!

Download as PDF: [June 2017]

Good News: Protestant Kirchentag

From May 24-30, Berlin was full of participants of the Protestant Church Convention (Kirchentag) — 105,000 visitors for the duration, and 30,000 one-day tickets – from quite devout to quite liberal, seekers and evangelists, many young and less elderly – and last but not least representatives from politics, society and other religions as dialogue partners. You may or may not like it. Yes, one can criticize the unbridled pluralism and the often unrecognizable faith profile, but you can also be happy that the gospel was heard in Bible studies, podium discussions, concerts and market booths. When else do so many come together for such a big event without one negative incident? The police were happy with the peaceful Christians. When else are the media full of church-related issues? When else do tens of thousands pray together? Despite some criticism there are a lot of reasons to be thankful!

Senator for Culture Klaus Lederer

We are continuing our series on the new members of the Red-Red-Green Senate which has been in office since December, 2016. Dr. Klaus Lederer is Senator for Culture and Europe. He is also one of the deputies of the Governing Mayor for the party “Die Linke”. Born 1974 in Mecklenburg, he spent his youth in Frankfurt / Oder. After the end of the GDR, he became involved in left – wing youth associations, and has been active since 1992 in the PDS, the predecessor of the leftist party, where he has served as chairman since 2005. Since 2003 he has been a member of the Berlin House of Representatives and has recently been the legal policy spokesman for “die Linke”. The openly gay politician lives with his long-time life companion in a registered life partnership and is also committed to equal rights for homosexuals. He does not shy away from fair debate and is committed to working on issues and tasks as equals with coalition partners in the new Senate.

Up to now, the Governing Mayor has been responsible for the culture department. But now Lederer can and will set new standards in cultural policy. In particular, he would like to promote an “independent” cultural scene. He immediately got involved with the conflict concerning the appointment of a new management for the Volksbühne at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. Chris Dercon is to become the successor of the leftist cult-director Frank Castorf on August 1. The governing mayor Michael Müller (SPD) and his then Secretary of State for Culture, Tim Renner, had already been responsible for the contract with Dercon in 2015. Since then there have been heated discussions about personnel. The opponents of Dercon as Culture Manager consider him to be unsuitable to succeed Frank Castorf. Employees of the Volksbühne have protested against him in an open letter. However, Lederer, after initial hesitation, now wants to fulfil the contract. In this way, a new spirit would actually enter the Volksbühne.

Prayer:

  • Pray for active, creative and, as far as possible, ideologically free cultural policy by the Senator
  • Pray that the conflict with the staff of the Volksbühne can be solved
  • Pray that Berlin’s cultural scene will gain attractiveness internationally

Upcoming events sponsored by the Stadtmission

On the first Sunday of the month, the Stadtmission offers “A different sort of steamboat trip: With God on the River Spree“. Interesting background information will be given concerning the city, including stories of Berlin personalities who have shaped our city in different ways, including faith issues. With this touristic offer, the Stadtmission wants to make the wider public aware of the importance of the Christian faith for the city. Dates can be found here:

http://www.berliner-stadtmission.de/wann-findet-was-statt/veranstaltungen/mit-gott-auf-der-spree

Prayer:

  • Thank God for this creative way of proclamation that has been taking place for many years
  • Pray that these boat trips will give many Berliners and tourists good impulses for faith

Ramadan 2017 from May 27 to June 24

During almost the entire month of June, faithful Muslims will take part in the fasting month of Ramadan. There is no food, drink, or sex from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan is a time when Muslims concentrate in a special way on their faith and are looking to experience God – especially during the so-called Night of Power from 21 to 22 June.

Fasting is a physical and emotional strain, especially in the summer months. In the refugee camps, strict Muslims live together with less strict Muslims, as well as with Christians and followers of other religions. This can lead to tensions. Practical tips and ideas for dealing with these issues in refugee accommodations can be found here: http://blog.down-to-earth.de/willkommenskultur-leben/kerstin-hack-friedvoller-ramadan/

Prayer:

  • That many Muslims actually encounter God and His love during this time
  • Pray for wisdom for those in charge of refugee accommodations to deal with these special days 
  • Pray for protection for non-Muslims from verbal and physical attacks during these days

Der „Amri Case“ and the Investigators

The assassin who drove a truck into the Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz and killed 12 people could possibly have been arrested and imprisoned earlier on account of gang-related and commercial drug trafficking. Suspicion of a possible cover-up by officers of the Landeskriminalamt (LKA) has arisen due to the work of the special investigator Bruno Jost. Evidence may have been altered. Therefore, on May 29th the homes of policemen were searched. The Senator for the Interior, Geisel, has filed suit. All political fractions in the House of Representatives want an investigation before the summer break.

Prayer:

  • Pray for effective, fast investigations, and complete clarification of suspicious elements
  • Pray for rigorous consequences for any mishaps or manipulations

The Discussion Concerning Neutrality

Since January 27, 2005, Article 29 §2 of the Berlin Constitution has been in effect: „Teachers and other employees with a pedagogical mission in the public schools may not display any visible religious or ideological symbols during work which demonstrate to the viewer an affinity to a particular religion or world view, and may not wear any conspicuous religious or ideological clothing. This does not apply to those teaching religion or worldview beliefs.“ (gesetze.berlin.de). This law is now being criticized as unconstitutional because of its sweeping nature and strictness. In 2015, the Federal Constitutional Court already declared the wearing of a headscarf as unconstitutional. Now, the case for neutrality is once again very much under discussion because a teacher at a school in Wedding was requested to take off a small cross on a chain worn around her neck. In April, the education minister Sandra Scheeres (SPD) said that she had nothing against a „piece of jewellery“ (Der Tagesspiegel, 4/11/17). The teacher, who had been wearing this necklace without any objections for 12 years despite the neutrality law, followed the request and exchanged the cross for a tiny Christian fish symbol. But the school leadership has responded by saying further discussion with the teacher is necessary. There may be other issues in the background. However, Secretary of State for Education, Mark Rackles (SPD), said in the House of Representatives: „The fish as such is not a problem from a Berlin perspective and can continue to be worn in schools.” (Der Tagesspiegel, 5/28/17)

Prayer:

  • Pray for a change of law which would guarantee personal freedom of belief and conscience, without offending others
  • Pray for good solutions for individual cases

Street Evangelism in the Summer

In the summer months, some Berlin churches as well as organisations and groups such as “Jews for Jesus” are looking for ways to talk with Berlin residents and tourists about faith – through acts of service, street events and creative evangelism.

Prayer:

  • Pray that many Berliners and tourists will be reached and become believers in Jesus

Keeping On – Protection from Terrorism

The Bible says, „Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.“ Let us continue to pray for protection from terrorism, wisdom, for preventative success on the part of security officials, and that potential assassins would turn away from fundamental Islam and encounter the love of Jesus.

Dates

  • 6/14, 6-7pm, Prayer for City Politicians at the Rote Rathaus
  • 6/17, 10am-2pm EFG Tempelhofer Damm 133‒137, Vision and Planning Meeting for „EINS ‒ gemeinsam beten, feiern, handeln“ on 1/20/2018, a day of prayer and unity sponsored by the Evangelical Alliance Berlin, Together for Berlin, and others
  • 6/23 5-7pm, Prayer for the Kotti, Adalbertstraße 97, in the Gebetskeller am Kotti

Download as PDF: [May 2017]

Good News: Economic Growth

Together with Saxony, Berlin ranked first in economic growth on a nationwide comparison in 2016: 2.7% (national average 1.9%). Growth is mainly due to strong construction activity as well as increases in trade, transport, hospitality, and communication. Increasing population and tourism also contributed to the increase. Economic growth means more jobs and revenue for the city.

Prayer for a Peaceful May 1st

From April 29 9:00 to May 2 12:00 noon, there will be 75 hours of BURN – Praise and Prayer in the Gebetskeller am Kotti. Details at http://www.Gebetskeller-kreuzberg.de

On May 1 at midnight, noon, 4:00pm and 8:00pm there are special times for intercessory prayer. Parallel to the 6 pm demonstration, which is not registered with the police, but plans to go through the middle of the Myfest, there is accompanying on-site prayer. Information in the office of GfB: Tel. 030-23003403

Prayer:

  • Pray for the protection of Jewish fellow-citizens and for peace for those near and far away
  • Pray that Christians in Berlin will be called to prayer and intercession during this time

Senator for the Environment Regine Günther

Regine Günther, 55, no party affiliation, has been working as Senator for the Environment, Transport, and Climate Protection in the Senate which began its work in December, 2016. Before that, she chaired the WWF Germany’s climate and energy conference for 16 years. Günther is a proven expert on national and international climate protection policy. She is married and has an adult daughter. She will first need to gain experience in managing a governmental department. At the top of her agenda is bicycle legislation. The response to a referendum about cycling has shown that there is a great need for better and safer mobility for cyclists. This is why it is necessary to offer more alternatives to the car, for instance expanding public transport and the infrastructure for cycling. Günther says that the climate problem is not necessarily directly related to cars, but to the fact that oil is burned. So she wants to promote electro mobility on the basis of renewable energies. „I do not want to forbid anyone to drive, but rather to ensure a healthy mix where public transport and cycling are just as much the same as the car traffic. However, in a growing city, it cannot be the goal that more and more cars compete for less space for parking and driving. That is why we have to offer people alternatives. By building them, we can reduce the car traffic.“ (Interview Der Tagesspiegel January 21) Günther is also a deputy member of the Federal Council for Berlin and a member of the German Transport Ministers‘ Conference.

Prayer:

  • Pray for an effective beginning for the new senator and blessing for her and her family
  • Pray that Berlin becomes a model for realistic and affordable climate protection
  • Pray for a sustainable compromise to reduce car traffic for all involved

Anti-Semitism in Berlin

According to the RIAS report, the research and information center for anti-Semitism, there were 470 anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin in 2016. The number of registered incidents rose by 16% compared to the previous year. The attacks ranged from provocations to threats of annihilation, and also included physical attacks. Most normally, the incidents are either Islamist or right-wing anti-Semitism. In early April, the Berlin media reported about a Jewish boy who had to be taken out of his school in Friedenau because of bullying. Hatred against Jews is again terribly visible in Berlin. God blesses those who bless Israel (Genesis 12:3). Both right-wing hatred and Islamic anti-Semitism receive too little attention, and there is an urgent need to develop more concepts on prevention for the training of teachers and social workers.

Prayer:

  • Pray for protection for Jewish fellow-citizens and their institutions
  • Pray that new concepts to deal with anti-Semitism, also among the Muslim population, will be promoted
  • Pray the the Friedenauer school leadership will successfully deal with mobbing

Campaign: Living Space for Refugees

Thousands of refugees still live in emergency or communal accommodation. This makes it more difficult for them to assimilate and integrate. A group of initiatives is looking for Berliners who will offer the refugees a room or an apartment for one or two years or longer. A new campaign called “Papa rück die Bude raus / Mama, gib mein Zimmer her” has just begun.

Christian refugees often find it particularly difficult in the communal accommodations. They often experience bullying – exclusion, threats, or even physical violence.

A Facebook group has been formed to look for Christian families and Christians who share apartments who would be willing to take in Christian refugees. Rent will be paid by the government. Interested landlords can also contact info@gfberlin.de.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1902079493367137/?fref=ts Further information: www.nestwerkberlin.de

Prayer:

  • Pray that many Berliners will open their houses to refugees
  • Pray for protection, preservation, and safe housing for Christian refugees

Berliner Stadtmission

The future of refugee organizations and integration measures in Berlin is still not clear in many places. This also applies to the emergency accommodation and refugee projects of the Berliner Stadtmission. It is a huge challenge for staff to carry on these important tasks of refugee work with heart and commitment.

The Stadtmission has been given the opportunity to expand its support and advisory work for the socially marginalized at the Bahnhof Zoo, as well as to build a Christian education program on the topic of poverty as well as some spiritual topics. There is already much support for this.

In addition, access to psychiatric and physical care for the homeless is to be made easier. Solving this complex challenge takes patience because of the need for negotiations with different Senate administrations. Also the financing of the current costs is not yet clarified.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for the long-standing loyalty of the Stadtmission and its current opportunities
  • Pray that the staff of refugee institutions are not discouraged by the uncertain situation
  • Pray for constructive planning with the authorities for the new project at the Bahnhof Zoo and for clarification of funding

Prostitution of young refugees

More and more young men – refugees from the Arabic countries and Central Asia – are prostituting themselves. A new red-light district which has developed around the Tiergarten has come to the notice of street workers, but they cannot provide enough support because of personnel deficiencies. In part, they are refugees who have no chance of an asylum application, or who have not made one, and who are homeless. The association „Hilfe für Jungs“ looks after these people. More street workers and social workers are urgently needed to advise and help these young people. Up to the age of 18, refugees are still looked after intensively, but afterwards they are left to themselves and are no longer required to attend school. The news about the possibility of prostitution and the location of relevant places spread quickly. Therefore, the scene is growing rapidly.

Prayer:

  • Pray for appropriate measures to help those affected and for more staff
  • Pray that politicians and associations can develop an effective concept
  • Pray that the young men (and their „customers“) will develop new outlooks on life

Prayer Center at the Kirchentag

A prayer center for the Kirchentag, organized by Chemin Neuf and the local community, will take place for the duration of the Kirchentag from May 25-27, 11am to 10pm in the Herz Jesu-Kirche, Fehrbellinerstr. 99, 10119 Berlin. It will offer a variety of liturgical or charismatic styles, with praise or in silence, African or Persian, subject-related intercessions or worship. A visit to the prayer center is also possible without a ticket to the Kirchentag. The program can be found at: http://www.christen-in-berlin.de/Kirchentag

Prayer:

  • Pray that Berlin will be blessed and that God will be honored by the Kirchentag
  • Pray that many will visit the prayer center and have personal encounters with the triune God
  • Pray that the unity among Christians will be strengthened by this ecumenical prayer

Keeping On

Despite fewer burglaries and robberies (see last prayer mail), Berlin is now at the top of the German cities in terms of crime per capita, but only because the other cities are experiencing a stronger decline. Let us continue to pray!

Dates

May 10, 6-7pm: Prayer for city politicians at the Rote Rathaus

 

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Download as PDF: [April 2017]

Good News: Declining Crime Rate

The crime rate in Berlin has fallen slightly in 2016. There were 689 cases less than in 2015 – although Berlin grew by about 60,000 inhabitants. Above all, the number of burglaries and robberies decreased slightly. However, pickpocketing and bicycle theft are increasing – and such cases are hardly ever solved. Politically motivated crime is also increasing. Nevertheless, the overall rate of solved cases has declined from 50% ten years ago to 42% today – partly due to the increase in „petty crimes”.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for the decline in crime rate
  • Pray for effective measures against theft and other forms of crimes
  • Pray that the police will be increasingly successful in solving crimes

Assisting Unemployed Young People

About 10% of all pupils in Berlin drop out of school without finishing. These young people should also be given the opportunity to find a place in the working world. They often need special support. Although the Hauptschule was abolished in Berlin, this did not lead to a better education. In the meantime, there are once again some secondary schools where problems are accumulating. In secondary schools, the class size is considerably larger than in primary schools, and the students cannot be looked after so intensively. A real breakthrough has not yet been achieved. Therefore, unemployed young people should be especially supported. There are financial resources available. Since the number of employees in Berlin is rising in general, even weaker young people would have an opportunity on the labor market if they were specifically assisted.

Prayer:

  • Pray for a successful assistance for young people who have dropped out of school
  • Pray that ways to improve school education can be discovered

The Gender Star

An increasing number of district administrations are using a so-called „gender-neutral language“. This is supposed to lead to linguistic equal treatment for men and women. However, since some are of the opinion that there are other gender forms between male and female, it is likely that this will be difficult. Nevertheless, the government is not afraid to move forward with new ways of language. Already in the red-red-green coalition agreement, the new Senate has consistently used the „gender star“. Take the German word for “residents”, for example. In the coalition agreement, it was written „Einwohner*innen” (the first part indicates male residents, the second female). When read aloud, there is a pause in the middle. The procedure is now taking on dictatorial features however. In the districts of Mitte and Lichtenberg, it has been suggested that all documents must contain gender-neutral language, that is, all possible sexes must be taken into account. This is even to apply to official requests made to the district. Print publications without such gender-neutral language would simply no longer to be dealt with. This is now to be decided by the district parliaments.

What is happening is that gendered language is forcing the underlying worldview on us. Those who turn against it can soon no longer express themselves officially. It is no longer just about men and women being treated equally – a very legitimate concern. It is now about the implementation of a certain ideology with which human beings are viewed. This takes hold in all areas. Particularly in the area of education, this ideological view is strongly being put into practice. Educators are encouraged to address pupils according to the sexual identity the pupils themselves have chosen and to name them as such.

(Source: Berliner Zeitung vom 25./26.2.2017)

Prayer:

  • Pray that there will be public resistance to the use of this type of language to convey a certain ideology
  • Pray that democratic life remains possible without making everyone subject to a language constraint
  • Pray that positive ways can be found to treat men and women equally

 

Acid Attacks Against Women

Since December, 2016 there have already been six attacks using a skin-irritating fluid on women in Berlin. In at least one case, it was battery acid. Each time, the perpetrator was on a bicycle at night and abruptly sprayed the liquid in the direction of the face of a pedestrian. Some of the women had to be treated in the hospital. Whether it was the same offender and whether hatred of women is the motive could not be determined by the police yet. After the last attack in Prenzlauer Berg, a special five-person investigation team was set up. A medium-sized man between the ages of 35 and 45 is being sought. Ten tips have already been given to the police by the public.

Prayer:

  • Pray for mental and physical healing for the affected women
  • Pray that the police will be successful in apprehending the perpetrator(s) and for protection against further attacks

Turkish Constitutional Reform in Berlin

On April 16, 2017, Turkey will vote on the controversial constitutional reform. All Turks living outside of Turkey may vote from March 27 to April 9. This applies to 139,000 people in Berlin. They will be allowed to vote at the Turkish Consulate at Heerstraße. The ballots will then be sent to Turkey and counted there. These ballots from abroad could tip the scales, since a close outcome of the referendum among voters within Turkey is expected. The entire opposition in the Berlin Senate has applied for a ban on Turkish election campaigning in the capital. The Federal Government opted for general toleration in order to portray the values of freedom that we so greatly appreciate. At times, the Turkish government voluntarily renounced electoral campaigns in Germany. The Berlin police are prepared to secure protests outside the consulate premises in order to ensure freedom of assembly.

Prayer:

  • Pray for social peace between representatives of both opinions
  • Pray that inner-Turkish confrontations will not be exported into our city
  • Pray that justice and freedom will win in Turkey

Senator of Justice Dirk Behrendt

Dirk Behrendt, 45, from the Greens party is another new member of the Berlin Senate. He grew up in Reinickendorf and graduated from high school in the Märkisches Viertel. After receiving his law degree and doctorate, he has been serving at various courts in Berlin. From 2006 to 2016 he was a directly elected representative in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (in the latest election, he received more than 49% of the vote). In the Berlin parliament, Behrendt frequently attacked the right-wing politicians and those concerned with domestic affairs, particularly those from the CDU. This has brought him respect, even among from the competition. According to the coalition agreement, he will now strive to bring about faster court proceedings, as well as better provision for personnel for the courts and penal institutions. His special concerns are the planned (scientifically accompanied) acceptance of cannabis consumption and the planned expansion of the „Rainbow City“ with a more widely accepted variety of all forms of sexual life. At the moment, Behrendt is being criticized for the allegedly unclear application procedure of the possible new General Attorney General, a post which has been vacant for quite some time.

Prayer:

  • Pray for ideology-free work of the Senator as much as possible, in order to improve the effectiveness of the justice system
  • Pray for justifiably medical and legally responsible regulations for cannabis use
  • Pray for success in the fight against problems in prisons
  • Pray for successful cooperation in the Senate for the good of the city

Keeping On

Many situations that are important to us cannot be presented in detail in every prayer newsletter. For this reason, here is a short reminder.

Prayer:

  • Pray for good integration of the refugees and the effective protection of Christian refugees
  • Pray for quicker further construction of the BER under the leadership of the new managing director E. Lütke Daldrup
  • Pray for protection from terrorist attacks and timely discovery of planned attacks

Dates:

  • April 12, 6-7 pm: Prayer for City Politicians at the Rote Rathaus
  • April 28, 5-7 pm: Prayer for the Kotti, Adalbertstraße 97, in the prayer basement at the Kottbusser Tor
  • May 1 all day: Prayer Events for a peaceful May 1: 75 hours BURN – Praise and Prayer – Saturday, April 29 9am until Tuesday, May 2 12:00. More information: Gebetskeller-kreuzberg.de
    On May 1, special intercessory prayer at midnight, 12:00, 4:00, and 8:00 pm. During the 6pm Demo, which often led to violence, onsite prayer. Infos from the office of GfB (Together for Berlin): 030-23003403

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