Germany publishes Christmas stamp, while Pope condemns EU


Central Europe


Don't be afraid. That's the Christmas message of the German government. Photo, BVA, Hans-Joachim Wuthenow

While the European Commission advised not to use the word Christmas, the German government designed an explicit Christian post stamp.

Fear not. These are the words of the angel Gabriel to the virgin Mary. Through the post stamp from the German Ministry of Finance, these words come to several million Germans.

The picture for the special Christmas stamp comes from a painting by Johann Michael Hertz (1725-1790). It shows the angel Gabriel coming to Mary to tell her that she would become the mother of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. “In history, she has been the token of innocence. At the same time, she is a symbol for God’s grace”, the Finance Ministry writes in a press release.

The price of the stamp is 1,20 euro. 40 cents are going to charity projects. Every year, these special stamps make 10 million euros in Germany.

Coin with birth of Jesus

Together with the stamp, there is a collector’s coin of 25 euro. That coin also has a Christmas message: “Weihnachten – Geburt Christi”. “The message of the birth of Jesus “God is made flesh” is rooted very deeply in the culture and habits of our country”, the ministry says. Of the coin have been made 1.1 million copies.

It seems that Christian motives are no problem on Christmas stamps in Germany. There have been debates about the season stamps in Norway, as Christian Press Office writes. This year, there is no Biblical reference in the Christmas stamps, but very regularly there are.

Pope criticises EU “ideology”

In the meantime, in the European Union is even the very word Christmas controversial. Last week it became clear that Commissioner Helena Dalli withdrew her handbook for inclusive communication for the European Commission. In the paper was written that EU officials could not assume that all citizens were Christians and that it was better to write about the holiday season than mentioning the word Christmas.

After intense criticism from many sides, the Commissioner promised a review of the guidelines.

On Monday, Pope Francis condemned the plans of the EC, comparing them to the actions of historic dictatorships. “In history many, many dictatorships have tried to do this kind of thing. Think of Napoleon … think of the Nazi dictatorship, the communist one,” the 84-year-old Catholic leader told reporters on a plane returning to the Vatican from a trip to Greece and Cyprus, according to Politico. “It is something that throughout history hasn’t worked.”

According to a transcript of the Pope’s comments on Vatican News, the bishop of Rome spoke about “ideological colonisation” that even could cause “the European Union to fail”. “The European Union must respect each country’s internal structure, its variety and not try to make them uniform.”



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