German church from time of peaceful revolution in Görlitz badly damaged


Central Europe


Photo Innenstadtgemeinde Görlitz

Unknown perpetrators have severely damaged the Protestant Frauenkirche in the centre of Görlitz, a city on the border between Germany and Poland. The 15th-century church was the starting point for peace prayers in the city during the peaceful revolution in autumn 1989.

During the night of 21 to 22 August, they destroyed the main altar, threw over figures of the apostles and an altar cross, smashed display cases and stole hymn books, microphones and amplifiers, reports the German Idea news agency. The vandals also ripped off organ pipes, as a result of which the instrument is currently unplayable. The material damage runs into tens of thousands of euros.

Pastor Matthias Paul of the Protestant congregation calls the destruction a "fatal attack on faith." He suspects that the perpetrators had themselves locked up in the evening and were looking for non-ferrous metal, such as lead, copper and bronze, at night. This would explain the enormous damage. The material damage can be repaired, "but the emotional and cultural-historical damage is enormous. It is a disaster for the community."

Currently, the church is closed for clean-up work. On 2 September, it will be reopened with an evening prayer.



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