Graffiti on German church door because of dispute about bell ringing


Central Europe


The local pastor found this graffiti on a door of the church. Photo Twitter, Stephan De Re

The church bell dispute in the German city of Wiesbaden seems to escalate. The pastor in the city area Weidenborn saw graffiti on the church’s door: a crossed bell with “rest”.

Pastor Stephan Da Re from the Protestant Johannes Church says on Twitter, strangers smeared the door to the church of the community centre on Sunday. The Christian press agency Idea reported this on Thursday.

The pastor thinks the graffiti was sprayed by “annoyed neighbours”. He went to the police with a complaint.

The bell rings every weekday for five minutes, around 18.55 hours. On Sunday, it takes longer.

Anonymous letter

There was already a bell dispute in the place since September. Local media wrote about it then. Pastor Da Re had received an anonymous letter in which a critic was upset about the “unnecessary tinkling”. The ringing scared “babies and the elderly”, said the anonymous neighbour.

The Johannes church in Wiesbaden is in the midst of a residential area. Photo ev-joha.de

In September, the pastor told RTL Hessen that he had written an open answer to the anonymous letter. He also published both the notes on Twitter a tweet seen by ten thousands.

According to the pastor, the bell ringing has been usual in the local culture for centuries. “As Christians, we remember to whom we owe our lives and what responsibility derives from it.” The message is that God has given time, Mr Da Re means.

To RTL, the pastor said that we are driven by “polarisation in this age.” “Everybody thinks about himself.” Apart from that, he is seeking possibilities to make the clinging softer.

The pastor says to Idea, the church has been ringing since 1964, before the residential area was there. Most of the houses in the immediate neighbourhood are from the last ten years. Every new neighbour knew that this church was there. And according to him, the complaints in the form of letters, emails and phone calls are from the last years.

The Johannes church parish has about 1250 members. The usual attendance is around 30 people on Sunday.

Other disputes

Also, is the bell ringing a problem in other areas, as Katholish.de reports. In Bad Homburg, the local church board is thinking about a change since a neighbour has asked for that.



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