“German Church should cut ties with Russian Church"


Central Europe


Photo AFP, Kirill Kudryavtsev

Church officials and politicians in Germany are calling on the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) to sever relations with the Russian Orthodox Church.

"The hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church," the open letter says, "with its legitimisation for war and the rejection of individual, inalienable human rights, creates an intellectual and spiritual basis for an autocratic state power with revisionist and dictatorial traits. A war of aggression is being waged with their blessing.” Since the latter “is also being waged with ideological means”, the Moscow leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church around Patriarch Cyril is “an essential part of the Russian war machine”.

Therefore, the authors call on the EKD to “work towards a moratorium on any bilateral dialogue between the EKD and the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church". This reads an open letter signed by several politicians, including the former Thuringian Prime Minister Christine Lieberknecht (CDU) and the former head of the Stasi records authority, Marianne Birthler (Greens).

The letter was initiated by Ellen Ueberschär, longtime general secretary of the Evangelical Church Congress, then board member of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, which is close to the Greens.

The letter is addressed to the chairwoman of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Annette Kurschus, and the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Ioan Sauca.

War propaganda

The authors of the letter are particularly concerned that representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate are able to spread their war propaganda at the general assembly in Karlsruhe from August 31st to September 8th. So far, it has been unclear whether a Russian Orthodox delegation will attend the meeting.

Despite intensive efforts, there are no signs of a change in the Moscow Patriarchate's ideological positions, write Ueberschär and Kunter. Kurschus and Sauca have sharply criticized Kyrill for his attitude towards the war. "We strongly support you in this and at the same time encourage you to draw conclusions from your attitude," the letter said.



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

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.