German Protestant Church wants to change doctrine on peace


Central Europe


In response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the Protestant Church of Germany (EKD) wants to reconsider its war ethics. Therefore, it wants to set up a so-called peace workshop.

The Protestant Church announced that in a press release on Monday.

That day, a synod meeting took place in Magdeburg. Bishop Friedrich Kramer of Magdeburg, also the EKD’s “peace commissioner”, called for further development of the current peace ethics of the German Church. He stressed that this has become particularly urgent at the moment.

Experts should be involved in changing or even wholly rewriting the peace ethics memorandum, which dates from 2007, Evangelisch.de reports. This could lead to an entirely new attitude about when the use of weapons is allowed.

After the Second World War, Germany and the church have been very critical to army deployment. Many Christians have chosen to apply for alternative service instead of the army conscription.


Since the Russian invasion in Ukraine on February 24, there has been a lot of controversy around the war and peace ethics in the Protestant Church of Germany. From the start, peace commissioner Kramer has rejected arms deliveries. At the same time, the chairwoman of the EKD Annette Kurschus advocates the delivery of weapons to Ukraine.

Kramer's pacifist position has received much criticism from inside the church. Yet, he persists that weapon deliveries are not the right way to go. “I say no”, he said at the beginning of the Synod, as reported by Evangelisch.de. At the same time, he also stressed that agreeing to an unjust peace is not an option.

Kurschus, on the other hand, said that weapons help to defend yourself and can save lives, Evangelisch.de writes. Yet, she stressed that "peace can only come when guns are silent, and talks are possible."

The Synod meeting in Magdeburg is attended by 128 delegates and will last until Wednesday.



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