German churches under supervision for view on homosexuality


Central Europe


Pastor Anselm Urban from the criticised Baptist Church in Pforzheim during his sermon in which he denounces homosexuality. Photo Weg zum Himmel

Two free churches in Baden-Württemberg are under surveillance for hate speech against homosexuals and anti-democratic statements.

The Baden-Württemberg Office for the Protection of the Constitution has been monitoring the Protestant Free Church Riedlingen for over a year, PRO reports. The Baptist Church Reliable Word in Pforzheim has been under scrutiny for several weeks now. Beate Bube, President of the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution, told the Stuttgart State Parliament that the office knew for sure about “extremist statements” in both religious communities.

An earlier presented report for the protection of the constitution reads that the “preacher with the main responsibility [for the Riedlinger community, ed] spreads political content and positions that undermine trust in democratic decision-making processes and state representatives and institutions in an anti-constitutional manner.” According to the authorities, preacher Jakob Tscharnte spoke of a “total vaccination war” during the Covid pandemic and called politicians “unjust and arbitrary rulers” who were controlled by “satanic powers.”

However, in the meantime, the preacher and his community are said to have parted ways after a conflict with another pastor of the congregation.


The Baptist Church in Pforzheim is mainly criticised for its “massive devaluation of homosexuals” and its hostility to queers, Bube pointed out. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution accuses the church of hate speech for calling members of the LGBT community “dirt, waste, and walking dirt.” In addition, it advocates the death penalty for homosexuals “because of the clear statement in Leviticus 20:13.” That Bible text reads that men who lie with each other should be put to death.

The community, led by preacher Anselm Urban, is independent of the Federation of Protestant Free Churches in Germany. Urban says that his church is willing to submit to state authority because the Bible commands it, but adds that he will only do so “as long as the respective secular laws do not encourage us to sin.” In addition, Urban adds that he wants to “perform his task and unrestrictedly call sins and individual people by their names, insult or not.”

Bube did not want to say whether the churches risked closure for their statements, Evangelical Focus reports.



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