This is a an extraordinary approach towards Christian-Muslim relations by Germany’s second largest national Protestant Church, which some may hail as a progressive and ground-breaking effort. Others, however, may view it as a dangerous breach of tradition. And others still will see it as a genuflection before Islam.
However you may view this major change – proselytizing has been an integral part of Christianity since its earliest days – there are two observations voiced in this paper that no one will be able to refute. First, the paper has a noble aim at heart, to “build bridges between Christians and Muslims” to foster “cooperation” and improve the inherent “unity” of both religions. Secondly, it is a highly relevant topic, with estimates now that up to seven million refugees, most of them Muslims, will immigrate to Germany over the next years.
And it is in this context that the paper announces that “meeting Muslims with a missionary agenda is in direct contradiction to the spirit of orders given by Jesus and is, therefore, to be rejected.” Christians and Muslims are to “create a vision of conciliatory differences.” The reasons behind these demands are of a socio-political nature. The attempt to convert Muslims, according to the authors, “endangers” the “internal civil peace.” In a society, hampered by conflicts, the remarks of the Church should serve a harmonious coexistence for all.”