Belgium: Pax Christi Flanders writes that Martin Luther King, Jr continues to inspire


by Annemarie Gielen and Jo Hanssens, Pax Christi Flanders, at

3/5/18 - April 4th was 50 years since Martin Luther King, Jr was forcibly killed as a nonviolent warrior for justice and peace. On August 28, 1963, at the end of an unforgettable march for equality of black and white in Washington, D.C., he gave the inspired, still moving speech, 'I have a dream'. His clear and powerful words touched many deeply. But there was not only applause. More than half of Americans at that time rejected his message against all forms of discrimination and racism. That is what Annemarie Gielen, general director of Pax Christi Vlaanderen, and Jo Hanssens write, practitioner of peace spirituality, in a commentary on the 50th anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King Jr.

The night before he was killed, Martin Luther King spoke these prophetic words in the Mason Temple in Memphis: "I do not know what is going to happen today. We are facing difficult days. But it does not matter anymore. Because I have been to the mountaintop. (...) And I have looked around at the top, and I have seen the Promised Land."

Pilgrimage to nonviolence

In his book Stride toward Freedom from 1958, Martin Luther King, Jr. describes his pilgrimage to nonviolence, as he himself calls it. On the Christmas holiday of 1949, he read with great attention Das Capital and the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx, and other works about the ideas of Marx and Lenin. His decision was clear: a materialistic system in which there is no place for God and in which coercion, violence, murder and lies are accepted could not possibly lead to a better society. But what then?...

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MLK, Annemarie Gielen, Jo Hanssens, Flanders, Pax Christi Vlaanderen, Belgium, Martin Luther King Jr