Renewed huber appeal to muslims

The chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Wolfgang Huber, has called on Muslims in Germany not to avoid critical questions in their dialogue with Christians. At the start of the EKD Synod in Dresden, however, there were also critical voices about the Islam Dialog's own line of action. Church meeting continues today.

"Religious plurality is the serious case of religious freedom" The Protestant church parliament wants to discuss the further church reform process at its meeting, which will last until Wednesday evening.In his report to the114 synod members, Huber expressly granted Muslims in Germany the right to build mosques. This would not preclude critical debate about the location, size and number of Islamic places of worship. At the same time, the Berlin bishop called for the unrestricted right of Muslims to change their religion. Muslims who convert to Christianity should therefore not be harassed any more than Christians who convert to Islam. "Religious plurality is the serious case of religious freedom," the council chairman emphasized.In the debate on Huber's report, the EKD's position on Islam was assessed differently. Publicist Robert Leicht criticized that he had heard too much "demarcation rhetoric". The Protestant Church must be careful not to give the impression of a lack of self-confidence. There was no legal basis for prescribing the number and size of mosques to Muslims, the jurist said.

Criticism of Islampapi Frankfurt pastor Ulrike Trautwein said the EKD's paper on Islam, which was presented last year, was too focused on demarcation. The problems of living together with Muslims should not be underestimated, he said. In view of widespread xenophobia, however, everything possible must be done to prevent disaffected Muslim youth from being driven into frustration and fundamentalism. "We must strengthen the liberal forces in Islam," the theologian demanded. On the other hand, the Hamburg synod member Gudrun Lingner said that the Protestant Church must take a stand. Demarcation is by no means exclusion.Huber also addressed the Protestant-Catholic relationship in his report and recommended strengthening the common ground. The Protestant and Catholic churches should ame their social and political responsibility together: "If the two large churches in Germany spoke with one voice, they could give more weight to the concerns of the Christian faith than if they acted separately."On the controversy over the theory of evolution, the top EKD representative said that under the heading of creationism, the biblical accounts of creation were being misused. Christianity has repeatedly suffered shipwreck by turning faith in the Creator into a form of explaining the world. In this context, Huber also attacked the "new atheists". Its most prominent representative, the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, makes the advocates of creationism the main representatives of Christianity. "This is a phantom discussion," criticized council president.

Highest decision-making body of the EKD Huber called for more decisive efforts to overcome child poverty. "Children, as creatures in their own right, also need their own living child benefit," he said, referring to the roughly 2.6 million children in Germany who live in poverty. SPD member of parliament Kerstin Griese, who is a member of the EKD synod, said that simply increasing the standard rates would not be enough to combat child poverty. The assistance must arrive also actually with the children, so the SPD church representative.The meeting of the church parliament opened on Sunday morning with a service in Dresden's Kreuzkirche church. In his sermon, the bishop of Saxony, Jochen Bohl, referred to the increased interest in questions of meaning and rearance. The synod is the highest decision-making body of the EKD. The church parliament represents some 25.4 million Protestants in 23 Protestant regional churches.The meeting continues its session on Monday. The main topic of discussion for the 114 synod members is the progress of the reform process in the Protestant church in the face of demographic change and dwindling membership. The meeting ends on Wednesday evening.

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