9 May 2009

Chinese Christians call on world to remember 4 June

The German Protestant news agency epd has reported that Chinese Christians have launched an appeal to remember the victims of the 1989 suppression of the student demonstrations in Beijing, and for those responsible to face justice. They are calling for prayers and intercessions between 12 May, the first anniversary of the earthquake in Sichuan and 4 June, when the Beijing protests were suppressed in 1989. Signatories include Yu Jie und Wang Yi in the PRC.

On 25 May, the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig is to remember the Chinese protests, in its weekly peace prayers, which this year are following the events of 1989. The effect of the 1989 protests could be felt around the world. In Basel, where churches from throughout Europe were gathering at the European Ecumenical Assembly, "Peace with Justice", one of the participants was heard to say, "Look at Beijing. What would happen if this was happening on Alexanderplatz" in East Berlin?. Less that six months later, the people of East Germany had taken to the streets in their thousands, Alexanderplatz had been the centre of the biggest demonstration the GDR had seen, and the Berlin Wall had begun to fall. In neighbouring Czechoslovakia the communist regime was toppled by protests led by dissidents around Vaclav Havel.

The British current affairs magazine New Statesman (sic) has called 1989 "The Year of the Crowd". "
There were the rebellious crowds massing in the great cities of central and eastern Europe, their collective and heroic agitation for change precipitating the breach in November of the Berlin Wall. There were the crowds of courageous students, workers’ groups and democracy campaigners in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, their aspirations so murderously suppressed by state dictatorship," writes editor Jason Cowley.


Post a Comment