Yesterday, an ecumenical liturgy in the Lutheran community’s St Paul’s church in south Hannover opened the 43rd German Intercultural Week. The liturgy was jointly officiated by the Catholic bishop of di Hannover, mgr. Martin Tenge, by the Evangelical bishop, Ralf Meister, by the archimandrite of the Greek Orthodox metropolis, Gerasimos Frangoulakis, and by the Lutheran pastor, Anke Merscher-Schüler. This year, the motto of the Intercultural Week is “Diversity unites: we are hope. We are shelter. We are wealth”. With a hot public debate on refugees and migration, as well as rising xenophobia, on the background, mgr. Tenge spoke of the many faces of living together, pointing out that the cohabitation of people from different religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds is a challenge, one that is too often overlooked and rejected: “In the Christian view of man, every human being is a gift and an enhancement, not someone I must defend myself from”, said Tenge, who explained that in any case helping people who have fled their homes and come to us because of the state of their lives is “the ultimate duty: this is about the universal view of man, even if this takes a lot of efforts”. This 43rd Intercultural Week will also include a National Refugee Day, on September 28th.