Cities for Life

November 30th: Cities for Life

Cities against Death Penalty

In 2002, the Community of Sant’Egidio launched the initiative “Cities for Life – Cities against Death Penalty”. Cities are invited to light up a symbolic building of their city in a special way on November 30th. In 2008, almost 1,000 cities participated in this initiative, expressing their opposition to the death penalty, and currently there are over 2,500 cities worldwide.

Cities for Life in Wiesbaden

After the German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and local Amnesty International groups were able to convince the city of Wiesbaden to join the campaign “Cities for Life – Cities against Death Penalty” in 2016, the Catholic Church of St. Boniface was again illuminated in blue on November 30th of the following years. The German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and two Amnesty groups from Wiesbaden each drew attention to the campaign simultaneously with an information stand.

In addition, an exhibition on the topic was opened in the Bonifatiuskirche in 2017 and 2019 respectively – these were the winning pictures from the international youth art competition “DRAW ME THE ABOLITION” of the corresponding years – here pictures from 2017:

In the Corona year 2020 our new banner flags in front of St. Boniface Church had their premiere – they hung until December 10, International Human Rights Day. Impressions in a small Youtube video!

In 2021, we were again able to complement the church lighting and banner flags with an information booth and exhibit in the church – this time featuring posters from the 2021 Abolition Youth Art Contest. However, this year, Christmas commercialism clashed with the Cities for Life campaign:

In 2022, the St. Boniface Church was scaffolded due to construction work, which is why the “Ringkirche” was illuminated in blue instead and provided with the lettering “NO to the Death Penalty! Impressions in a small Youtube video!

The German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty thanks the city of Wiesbaden, the St. Boniface congregation – 2022 the congregation of the “Ringkirche” – and Amnesty International Wiesbaden for their support, which in the meantime has lasted several years!

Articles in the local press – Unfortunately, the media coverage beyond this article leaves something to be desired. Either the action is ignored or factually incorrect information is published…

Cities for Life in Frankfurt/Main

Since 2019, the Catholic parish of St. Bernhard in the North End of Frankfurt has also been involved in the “Cities for Life” campaign, in cooperation with German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and Amnesty International Frankfurt. In addition to the illumination of the church of St. Bernhard, the program in 2019 included one of our readings, in 2020 a Multimedia presentation. Also in 2021 St. Bernard showed for several days a Multimedia presentation in the church and online, which was further developed and supplemented compared to the previous year.

Here’s how you can get active yourself if your city has not yet joined Cities for Life:

Contact your city council and tell them about this initiative. If needed, we can provide you with a sample letter and German-language material. You can also inform the local press. A short note or a call to the editor is often enough; the editors will write a report of their own accord.

For more information on Sant’Egidio and Cities for Life, click here.