German town welcomes hundreds from different faiths for food, worship and unity

Religion News Service | 8/23/2019 | Staff
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LINDAU, Germany (RNS) — Over a picnic table, sandwiched in between Catholic and Lutheran churches on cobblestone streets, Christians of this Bavarian town chatted with Buddhists from Indonesia and Thailand.

Angela and Christian Feustel, Lutherans from the town near the borders of Switzerland and Austria, brought figs from their backyard for a “long table” dinner Wednesday (Aug. 21) with delegates from Religions for Peace, a global interreligious group holding its 10th World Assembly in the community.

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“I think it’s very, very good,” said Angela Feustel. “And I hope it’s not only words but some effect. But I think one effect is to be together and to eat together.”

During breaks in their four-day meeting, many assembly delegates found time to explore the town of about 25,000 people. Some worshipped in the early mornings together in the Catholic cathedral where a Lutheran pastor from across the street preached.

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And on one night delegates ate and drank over long picnic tables near the two churches.

Somboon “Moo” Chungprampree, from Thailand, and Philip K. Widjaja, from Indonesia, sat next to the Feustels at the dinner.

Chungprampree - Language - Tablemates - Meal - Town

Chungprampree used almost the same language as his tablemates to describe the outdoor common meal in the town’s Market Square.

“It’s very good,” he said.

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Then, pointing to a green, yellow and black bottle of “Lindauer ****,” he added jokingly: “We can talk and communicate to learn about the locals, local beer, atmosphere, everything about the conflict in churches.”

Franz Stiehle, a lifelong Lindau resident, and his wife, Ellen, brought wraps made with chicken or with vegetables, thinking of the faith groups that eschew pork or beef because of their dietary laws.

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“It’s very necessary,” he said of the event that brought the world of faiths to their small island community. “And the whole world has to have peace.”

For some delegates, the meal was a chance to talk...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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