7 November 2009

There are walls that keep us all divided

In his statement to mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall, World Council of Churches general secretary Sam Kobia said tthat the message that Christian faith can inspire a resistance movement against fatalism and despair is as important today as it was then:
There are still many walls separating humankind: the "Demilitarized Zone" between North and South Korea, the "Security Wall" on the occupied territory in Palestine, but also the walls of injustice, racism and prejudice that separate rich and poor, stigmatize persons suffering from HIV and AIDS and destroy the lives of many people.
The BBC (hat tip to Ian Alexander) has put together a page depicting the walls and barriers around the world which are still standing - or have been put up - since 1989.: West Bank, Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Ceuta and Melilla, Cyprus, Pakistan-Iran, Rio de Janeiro, US-Mexico, Korean Border, Western Sahara, Botswana-Zimbabwe.

The title of this post comes from a verse from the hymn, "The Love of God is broad like beach and meadow":
We long for freedom where our truest being
is given hope and courage to unfold.
We seek in freedom space and scope for dreaming,
and look for ground where trees and plants can grow.

The Love of God is broad ...

But there are walls that keep us all divided;
we fence each other in with hate and war.
Fear is the bricks and mortar of our prison,
our pride of self the prison coat we wear
In the archives of the GDR State Secretary for Church Affairs there is a paper that expresses concern about this hymn and states that it must not be published in the GDR, describing the text as a means of trying to discredit the state using religious language.


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