Germany’s lower house of Parliament is considering replacing state payments to the nation’s two largest churches. The Catholic and Protestant churches received combined state benefits of more than $650 million in 2020.
Read full piece
A German government official warned Tuesday (Nov. 24) that anti-Semitism is emerging as a common position among people protesting pandemic lockdown measures who otherwise come from widely differing political backgrounds.
German Protestants in the free church tradition — including Baptists — issued a statement urging a balance of religious freedoms and health needs during the pandemic, and also called on Christians to reject conspiracy theories sparking misinformation and distrust.
The Dutch Protestant Church made a far-reaching recognition of guilt Sunday for its failure to do more to help Jews during and after World War II, and for the church’s role in preparing ”the ground in which the seeds of anti-Semitism and hatred could grow.”
Baptists across the world have been impacted by coronavirus as it upended in-person worship services, impacted local economies, and increased ministry needs. But the virus has also infected Baptists in various countries, including recent tragedies in Germany and Cameroon.
While Germany’s federal government makes plans for tracing infection chains and reopening public facilities, churches across Germany are developing their own plans for how to restart worship with new regulations such as compulsory face masks, prohibition of physical contact, and restrictions on congregational singing.
Lothar Wieler, the head of the German government’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, specifically warned on Tuesday that communal singing was ill-advised. “Evidence shows that during singing, the virus drops appear to fly particularly far,” he said.