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UPUSA moderator asks for prayers for peace (60 years ago)

60 years ago — August 21, 1961

The victors of WWII divided the city of Berlin, Germany, into sectors eallowing free movement of people. To stop the flow of immigration from the Soviet controlled sector on August 12, 1961, a barbed-wire wall dividing the city was erected overnight. The threat of war hung in the air. Paul D. McKelvey, a businessman of South Pasadena, California, elected moderator to the 173rd General Assembly, requested members to pray. They were called “to pray for a peaceful resolution to the Berlin crisis and for the ‘guidance of God in the decisions by the heads of state.’” Copies of the call to prayer were sent to President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschchev. The prayer called for “‘calm awareness by the leaders and peoples of East and West that peace rests upon political justice, upon mutual understanding, upon the right of people to be free, and upon the ability to negotiate tensions with charity instead of fear.’” And to pray “for an ‘unrelenting resolution in preserving the democratic way of free expression and responsibility, a clear readiness by all leaders to preserve and protect human life and dignity, and a compelling conviction by us all that we labor in God’s world and are charged by him to protect the dignity, freedom and honor of one another near and far.’”

From “UPUSA moderator asks for prayers for peace” by Religion News Service