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Which Religions are Part of Germany?

29 October 2012

A discussion featured in the new series "Visions of Belonging"
By means of the discussion series "Visionen der Zugehörigkeit" (Visions of Belonging), the Jewish Museum Berlin, advised by DeutschPlus e.V., creates a forum for a productive dialogue, in which visions and actions for an increasingly plural German society can be developed.

Stephan Kramer, Petra Bahr and Detlef Pollack

Stephan Kramer, Petra Bahr and Detlef Pollack (left to right)
© Central Council of Jews in Germany / Culture Office of the Protestant Church in Germany / Excellence cluster "Religion and Politics" from the WWU Münster

The religious landscape in Germany has seen considerable change - In the Christian-influenced, albeit highly secularized society, religious diversity is on the increase.

The pluralism of religions, however, is seen by over 70% of Germans as a cause for conflicts and by only about half as enriching. Western European neighbors are far more tolerant of Islam and other non-Christian religions than Germany, as a survey of the University of Munster in 2010 showed. It reported that Germans speak out against new mosques and minarets far more often than the French, Danes, Dutch or Portuguese, and are also less willing to grant other religions equal rights. There is now even a ruling by the Cologne Regional Court that deems the ritual male circumcision illegal and thus restricts the freedom of religion.

How should the relationship between religion and secular government be organized? Should Germany open up its religious and political structures? How does the Jewish community position itself? And why do Germans have a more negative image of Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and Muslims?


29 October 2012, 7:30 pm


Old Building, second level, Great Hall




Tel: +49 (0)30 259 93 488


Julia Jürgens
Tel: +49 (0)30 259 93 353
Fax: +49 (0)30 259 93 330

Petra Bahr (cultural officer of the Protestant Church in Germany)
Stephan Kramer (general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany)
Aiman Mazyek (chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany)
Detlef Pollack (professor for sociology of religion)
and other
Moderator: Isabel Schayani (journalist at ARD [Germany’s First Public TV-Channel])

A recording of the event can be found on our YouTube channel (in German).

Advised by DeutschPlus e.V. - Initiative for a Plural Republic

Media partner: taz. die tageszeitung

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