Majority of German government ask God’s help in oath




Olaf Scholz is sworn in as the new German Chancellor. Photo EPA, Clemens Bilan

The majority of the German government ministers chose the religious oath when they were sworn in on Wednesday. Five Social Democratic and all four Liberal ministers voted for the affirmation “So help me God.”

In addition, to Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), the Social Democrats Svenja Schulze and Wolfgang Schmidt and all five Green ministers did without the addition. The Evangelical press agency Idea reports this.

First non-denominational Chancellor

In 1998, for the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, half the cabinet renounced the religious formula. At that time, the Protestant SPD politician Gerhard Schröder was the first and only head of government to take his oath of office without the addition.

According to media reports, Olaf Scholz grew up Protestant, but he has since left the church and is the first non-denominational Chancellor.

For the pastor’s daughter Angela Merkel (CDU), who was head of government from 2005 to 2021, religious affirmation was a matter of course. In 2018, twelve of their 15 ministers took the oath of office with the addition “So help me God”.



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

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.