“Not an anticlerial act”

Before the Epiphany meeting of the Liberals, the FDP spoke out against favoring Christianity. The different faith communities in Germany would have to be legally equal – also in the regulation of the church tax. This is not the first time politicians have tackled this ie.

Secretary General Christian Lindner seeks to reform the church tax system. He said this to the Bonn-based magazine "Christ und Welt," which is enclosed with "Die Zeit. The FDP secretary general. "If one thinks this consistently, then the state could at some point collect a counterpart to the church tax from Muslims," he explained. Lindner favors a right to intercept religion that "does without preferential treatment". Currently, the state collects church tax only for faith communities that have the status of a public corporation.

Lindner questioned historically conditioned state contributions to the churches. "After more than 200 years, regulations and payments are allowed to be questioned," he explained. A sober debate about state-church law is not an anticlerial act. The speaker of the group of Christians in the parliamentary group, Patrick Meinhardt, evaluated the Vrostob critically. He "sees little sense in the fact that shortly before Epiphany we also put the relationship between church and state for discussion," said the board member of the Bundestag faction. He said he did not know "what good that would do".

According to their own figures, the two major Christian churches receive state benefits amounting to around 460 million euros every year. They are considered compensation for expropriations from earlier centuries.

Schauble: Certain equality
In mid-2009, before a meeting of the Islam Conference, the Federal Minister of the Interior, Wolfgang Schauble, spoke out in favor of a more far-reaching legal equality of the Muslim communities in Germany with the churches. For this to happen, however, some conditions would still have to be met by the Muslim side. "My goal is a certain equality for Islam," Schauble said at the time.

He is interested in a similar form of state cooperation with Muslims in Germany as with other religious communities. However, a recognized religious community that could be a partner for the state is still missing, the minister explained. Nothing has changed in this respect to date.

The difficulties
Peter Hunseler, head of the Christian-Islamic Encounter and Documentation Center (CIBEDO) in Frankfurt am Main, explained at that time in an interview with our site the still current difficulty of the state to put Islam on an equal footing with the Christian churches.

"The German state-church law, which regulates the details for the religion-neutral state in dealing with the churches, provides for very specific things here. Namely, the state only recognizes religious communities that have a certain form of organization. Take the Catholic Church. It has an organizational structure, one becomes a member of the church through baptism, this is a voluntary act, which is repeated again by the baptized at Holy Communion. Who says: Yes, I want to be a member of this church. And thus he recognizes the church structures. And he recognizes that there is a teaching authority in this church, which represents the contents of the faith in a binding way – also vis-à-vis the state. And precisely this constitutionalism does not exist in Islam. Islam, as we know, is the free community of believers without any form of organization. And above all: without a magisterium. And here lies the problem."

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