/ Margot Käßmann Wishes for Stronger Commitment Against Nuclear Weapons from Younger People
Margot Käßmann Wishes for Stronger Commitment Against Nuclear Weapons from Younger People
20 Years "Friedensräume" in Lindau
LINDAU As long as there are nuclear weapons, mankind lives with the danger of nuclear war. Perhaps not necessarily because rulers would willingly instigate a nuclear war. But perhaps simply by chance. Margot Käßmann, former bishop and member of the World Council of Religions for Peace, reminded of this quite real scenario in a lecture on Friday evening in the Lindauer Inselhalle.
Käßmann was guest speaker at the anniversary celebration of 20 years of Peace Spaces. “Friedensräume” is a museum in Lindau dedicated to peace and sponsored by Pax Christi Diocese of Augsburg.
Whose job is protest?
“Why do we not manage to create an awareness of nuclear dangers among younger people?” lamented Margot Käßmann. Society has become too accustomed to the existence of nuclear weapons, she said. There are also deployable nuclear missiles in Germany. Käßmann observed that younger generations in particular were not concerned enough with the subject. The topic needs to be brought up again on an emotional level, she said. “Perhaps it is also the task of the older generation to get back on the road.”
But Käßmann was not solely concerned with nuclear weapons, but with weapons of all kinds. And thus about war in general. “It’s time we took the world’s wars seriously again,” she told an audience of about 142 in the Inselhalle. Nations like Germany, she said, earn a lot of money from the production of weapons, which are used to wage wars that force people to migrate, which nations like Germany then complain about in turn.
„You can only enforce peace with the people and not against them.
Religions as conflict exacerbators
According to Käßmann, religious communities must also play their part in tackling this task: “Religions have the task of awakening people. Too often, however, religions are seen in society as a “factor in exacerbating conflict.
Käßmann, on the other hand, was of the opinion that religions could contribute to defusing conflicts and recalled the Bible verse: “Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you”. Wars could only be ended, she said, because peace talks were held with opposing parties. “You can only enforce peace with the people and not against them.”
Compulsory peace service
Margot Käßmann regretted the abolition of military service in Germany. Young people would now almost no longer come into contact with the topic of war and peace work. She advocated the establishment of a compulsory peace service, in which young generations would learn methods such as prevention and mediation.
At the end of the lecture, Margot Käßmann answered questions from the audience and signed books. For the museum “Friedensräume” the visit was a small sensation because the sponsor Pax Christi Diocese of Augsburg had been trying for a long time to get the former chairwoman of the Council of the Protestant Church in Germany to come to Lindau to give a lecture. Now, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary, it worked out. The seats permitted according to the hygiene regulations were almost completely occupied.
Muslims, Buddhists and Jews hand in hand on a stage, Christians, Sikhs and Taoists praying together in front of a ring made of wood as a symbol of peace, and indigenous people, Baha’i and Hindus dining together next to a large table with food that meets all religious needs. These images went around the world in 2019: Religions meet in Lindau to talk about peace. At the end of the conference, journalists were happy to ask the question, “And now what?”
The Lindau association “Friedensräume” invited on Thursday to a common prayer of the religions at the Ring for Peace in the Lindau Luitpoldpark. We were present at the ceremony, which makes us look forward to our ceremony on October 5.
The former EKD Council President was a guest speaker at the anniversary celebration of 20 years of peace rooms. In her speech, she criticized the arms deals of nations like Germany and called on religions to do more to shake things up.
March 8 is International Women’s Day. To mark the occasion, we publish this interview with Rachel Rosenbluth, one of the first Jewish women to be ordained as a rabbi. Rosenbluth was a speaker at the 1st Assembly on Women, Faith & Diplomacy in November 2020. Read, what she asks of men in the name of all women of faith.
Today, November 25th, the world commemorates discrimination and violence against women and girls. The Lindauer Stiftung Friedensdialog der Weltreligionen und Zivilgesellschaft, Ring for Peace, is permanently launching very concrete projects to remedy this situation. Learn more about the ongoing efforts of our foundation.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and Religions for Peace announced a commitment to form a Multi-Religious Council of Leaders to strengthen efforts to address the root causes of conflict and displacement and to support peacebuilding, inclusion and reconciliation efforts.
Ring for Peace publishes a digital magazine called: “Ring for Peace – common future – peace dialogues lindau“. The first issue of the 1st Assembly on Women, Faith & Diplomacy reads: “Issue 1 – transforming tomorrow – Women, Faith & Diplomacy”.