De Walk of Peace op zondag 20 september in Den Haag valt precies samen met de geboortedag van Willem Visser ‘t Hooft. De Nederlandse pionier van de oecumene en de eerste secretaris-generaal van de Wereldraad van Kerken, werd op 20 september 1900 geboren in Haarlem. De vragen van vrede en gerechtigheid zijn volop aanwezig in zijn biografie.
Dat schrijft Klaas van der Kamp in een Engelstalig blog voor de Wereldraad van Kerken. Hieronder een tweetal alinea’s daaruit. De eerste gaat aover de actualiteit van het thema in Nederland. De tweede alinea gaat over Visser ‘t Hooft. Zij die het hele blog willen lezen, kunnen op deze link klikken.
….Peace is not self-evident today. We see that young people from Western countries participate in the war in the Middle-East. They rape, kill and threaten for the sake of their own invented god. A flood of refugees is the result. When a Buk missile, made in Russia, shot down an airplane of Malaysia Airlines on the 17th of July 2014, 298 people were killed; most of them (193 people) were Dutch. We realized then that aggression nowadays goes beyond borders. The pilgrims on the Walk of Peace want to show that there cannot be any excuse for any kind of aggression like that.
It is a coincidence that the Walk of Peace is on the 20th of September, the birthday of Visser ‘t Hooft, the first general secretary of the World Council of Churches. Willem Visser ‘t Hooft was born on the 20th of September 1900 in Haarlem. In his biography he explains the struggle of the churches before the Second World War. “Developments were like a bulldozer coming to us”, he says. However Christians managed to stay connected in those days, they made clear that they wouldn’t bless the weapons as was done in the First World War, and when they saw the killings targeting Jews, gypsies and communists some were prepared to help the refugees who needed a shelter. Among Willem Visser ‘t Hooft’s contacts were people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who simply couldn’t join the army without losing his self-esteem and the awareness of being a servant of the kingdom of God. This awareness couldn’t go together with serving an aggressive state. People like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Willem Visser ‘t Hooft still inspire us today.