With Café #Friedenswege, we, as actors of evangelical peace work, will offer a space for discussion and exchange of views on the subject of peace at the World Exhibition on the Reformation in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, during the summer of 2017.
We, as actors of evangelical peace work, do not accept the fact that there are so many wars and so much hate and violence in this world. Instead, we want to jointly explore and develop paths toward peace. This is the reason we are participating with the Café #Friedenswege in the World Exhibition on the Reformation during the summer of 2017 in Lutherstadt Wittenberg. The Café will offer you an opportunity to learn, to participate, and to take a stance for a just peace. Peacekeepers and military pastors are looking forward to an exchange of views with you. In addition, you can also have a cup of coffee or tea in the café, while mulling over impressions of the World Exhibition and enjoying the sun.
At Café #Friedenswege, we want to search together for answers to questions that are moving more and more people: Can peace be achieved through armed conflict? How do we put a halt to terrorism? On a personal level, what can I do about hate and violence?
At Café #Friedenswege, we want to share with you and learn together: about civilian conflict management, about possibilities for conflict transformation, about how peace and justice are interdependent, and about the church’s activities for peace.
With Café #Friedenswege, we want to send out a message against war and for a just peace. We will collect and publish peace statements from visitors to the Café for this purpose. In addition, we will document ideas and suggestions from discussions at the café so as to use them for our future peace work.
Café #Friedenswege was specifically constructed in the form of a pedestal for the period of the World Exhibition. It can accommodate approximately fifty visitors. Equipped with tables and chairs of various sizes, the café has several information screens as well as various installations in which guests can participate. Our refreshment menu is strictly limited to coffee, tea, juices, and water, for we do not wish to build up competition with local traders. As there is no roof covering the entire café space, it will be closed during heavy rain.
At the World Exhibition of the Reformation, seven gates of freedom and related topics pave the way for the future. Café #Friedenswege is part of the theme of peace, justice, and the integrity of creation. It is located at the “Schwanenteich” in Wittenberg. Around the lake is a circular path in the style of a pilgrim route with different stations. The lake symbolizes the Mediterranean. An installation featuring the wreckage of a refugee boat, as well as stylized boats and fences made of wickerwork, invite you to reflect particularly on the theme of flight and the reasons for which persons are forced to flee.
Topics and Opinions
Peace is a complex issue. As actors of evangelical peace work, we work on topics such as civilian conflict regulation, non-violence, conscientious objection, peace education, and pastoral care for the military. We have, in part, markedly different opinions on peace politics. The guiding principle of a just peace, however, is our shared foundation. This guiding principle includes several dimensions: respect for human dignity, avoiding and protecting against violence, ensuring that everyone leads a dignified life, which presupposes freedom, eliminating distress and acknowledging cultural diversity. In addition, we understand that a just peace is an on-going process and the struggle to achieve it is a key task. With Café #Friedenswege, we want to put our opinions up for discussion and to ask ourselves together how we can best advance toward a just peace.
#Friedenswege is an Evangelical Peace Work project. Sponsors include the Konferenz für Friedensarbeit (KfF), the Protestant Working Community for War Repentance and Peace (EAK), the Aktionsgemeinschaft Dienst für Frieden (AGDF), as well as Protestant Pastoral care in the Bundeswehr.