In a symbolic gesture the Pope prays at the West Bank Wall of Oppression

by
Sameera Ehteram
The image of Pope Francis praying at the separation wall, next to the spot with red graffiti reading 'Free Palestine,' may go down in history as the turning point in Palestine’s struggle for independence.

Historic Moments

Pope Francis already made history on his trip to the Middle East by giving symbolic approval to Palestinian hopes for an independent state when he landed directly in Bethlehem on Sunday and visited the wall abhorred by the Palestinians as a symbol of Israeli oppression.

"In this, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace, I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, together with President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace," he later said."I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer."

The pope also called for the recognition of a Palestinian state but made the same demand on behalf of the state of Israel, urging all sides to pursue a path to peace together, and to not take unilateral actions to disrupt it.

You Find May This Interesting: What Would Happen If Joseph And Mary Walked To Bethlehem Today?

Here are five moments from around the world that have had great, if not equal importance in history.


Historic Moments

Germany, 1987

In 1987 U.S. President Ronald Reagan visited the Berlin Wall in Germany.

In his speech to the people of West Berlin, President Regan historically demanded that the Soviet Premier at the time, Mr. Gorbachev "Tear down this wall!" in a speech at the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall commemorating the 750th anniversary of Berlin.

When the 12-foot concrete wall of electrified fences and guard posts came down in 1989, an era of demarcation and separation came to an end.

In Timothy Garton Ash’s words, “So here is the image to remember: An east Berliner appears through the frontier crossing, amid the elated crowd. Pale-faced, wearing some kind of a padded jacket, his breath is visible as a frosty plume against the cold night sky. He has just got through. He has probably never set foot in the west in his life. Incredible. Unglaublich!

"He sees the television camera, looks straight at it, and shouts just one word: Freiheit! Then he is gone. In that instant, the word 'freedom,' so much devalued and abused, recovers all its pristine, primal force.”


Historic Moments

Ukraine, 2013

Ukrainian erupted in protests in 2013. The protests were shrouded with violence. Both the protestors and riot police had their hand in making things worse. Amid the madness, Markiyan Matsekh, a pianist with a passion for peace, decided the best way to communicate a message of peaceful protest was to place a piano in front of police lines and play a little classical music. 


Historic Moments

United States, 1967

America in the midst of the devastating Vietnam War. With flower power and the hippie movement protesting the war, on Oct. 21, 1967, more than 100,000 people marched on the Pentagon. Two thousand five hundred Army troops wielding M-14 guns surrounded the Pentagon, cordoning off the crowd from the protected building.

Undeterred, the protestors stood their ground inches away from the weapons. Among the protestors was an 18-year-old aspiring actor named George Harris who calmly inserted the stem of a carnation into a soldier's gun barrel. Over the years the iconic act has come to symbolize nonviolent protests around the world.


Historic Moments

Egypt, 2011

Amid the violent protests and clashes during the 2011 Egyptian revolt, Christian protesters formed a chain around hundreds of Muslims protecting them as they prayed.

What made the act more symbolic and heroic was the fact that the gesture took place merely a month after Alexandria bombing allegedly by radical Muslims, killing many Christians.

It's incidents like these that leave a lasting impression on the world and give all of us hope for a better, brighter future.

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