Catholic entrepreneurs in Germany against more shopping hours on Sunday


Central Europe


Germany is quite conservative in terms of Sunday shopping. The Catholic entrepreneurs prefer to keep it like that. Photo AFP, Ina Fassbender

In the past, it was the Liberal FDP that in Germany called for more shopping hours on Sundays. Currently, the Christian Democratic CDU in the city of Cologne is pleading for trading facilities. The Federation of Catholic Entrepreneurs thinks it is better not to go for this.

Opening your shop on Sunday is changing a whole lifestyle, says the chairman of the federation (Bund Katholischer Unternehmer, BKU), prof. Ulrich Hemel. “It’s not just about business and faith; it’s about a whole range of topics.”

In an interview with Domradio, he explains that the “big question” is about the need for a “common day or rest in our society”. For this, there are both religious and secular reasons. “I am convinced that a society can use a common rest day, as far as possible.”

The federation consists of 1100 entrepreneurs over the whole of Germany. The working groups develop innovative concepts for economic and social policy and value-oriented management.


In the state of North-Rine-Westphalia (NRW), in which Cologne is, all municipalities can decide about four Sundays a year for shopping. Hemel: “I think that should be enough.”

The CDU in NRW is calling for more activity on Sunday. A few weeks ago, the party asked for opening the city library on this day.

Online shopping

The dilemma for entrepreneurs is that “online shopping” is never closed, and the competition is heavy. Hemel has no solution for that. “Nevertheless, I think people are designed to seek common ground and make time for each other in their relationships. That’s why I’m reluctant to open brick-and-mortar retail for Sunday shopping.”

Hemel thinks the Sunday “reminds us that the seventy day is ultimately designed as a day of rest”, he says. “We must think about the society we want to live in. This is where religion can play a good role. We don’t benefit if everyone in families has a different day off. That cannot be in the interests of a successful society.”



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.