True Religion In Berlin

And no. It isn’t the one you might think it would be.

Christian

Only about one quarter of Berlin’s population belongs to one of the two big Christian denominations. The Lutherans take up roughly 16 percent of that number, the Catholics 9 percent. The numbers for both of these groups have dropped in recent years and will most likely continue to do so.

The number of Muslims in Berlin, on the other hand, countinues to rise and rise. They currently make up about 9 percent of the population.

Why does it feel like this is not really a news item? Duh. Because it isn’t. Hey, don’t get cross with me (cross, get it?). I’m just reporting what I read.

Nur noch ein Viertel der Berliner Einwohner gehört einer der beiden großen christlichen Kirchen an. Die evangelische Kirche kam Ende 2016 auf einen Anteil von 15,9 Prozent an der Bevölkerung. Bei den Katholiken waren es 9 Prozent.

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A Liberal Mosque?

The first “liberal mosque” is set to open today in a church in Berlin.

Mosque

Liberal, huh? I guess they’re going to hold their services in the left-wing of that church. It’s the last mosque on the left side of that street, by the way.

Liberal? Why the pews in that mosque lean so far to the left that everybody piles up on the prayer mat.

Why that mosque is so liberal that the cleric plans to let his husband be the first one to call the faithful to prayer.

The brainchild behind the mosque is feminist, peace activist and lawyer Seyran Ates, who moved to Germany from Turkey at the age of six. It will allow men and women to pray and preach together rather than separately. “Fundamentally, the mosque’s door is open for everyone, with one exception: No one will come in with a niqab or burqa.”

At Least It Didn’t Happen To The Muslims Or The Jews

This is nothing to get cross about or anything, I guess, but the OSCE reports that there were 414 cases of anti-Christian abuse and attacks in Germany last year.

Cross

The offences included acts of violence, church desecration and theft.

Zu den erfassten Delikten zählen Gewalttaten, Kirchenschändungen und Diebstahl.

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Bling

I mean Tebartz-van Elst, of course.

Bling

“I got your church and state for ya right here, pal.”

What’s all the excitement about? Religious Germans contribute freely to their churches. It’s not as if the money this guy burned had been levied by taxation or anything. Uh, wait a second. OK. So I guess it had been.

Germany separates church and state much less clearly than does America but more explicitly than Anglican Britain or Orthodox Greece. Its post-war constitution, in a clause carried over verbatim from the Weimar constitution of 1919, favours no particular faith but lets all churches levy taxes on their members through the income-tax system (8% or 9% of a taxpayer’s bill, depending on the state).