Ecumenical News International

Churches oppose rightwing extremist agitation

August 27, 2015

Frankfurt a.M. (epd). The Protestant and Catholic churches in Germany have sharply condemned rightwing extremist agitation and violence against refugees. "Refugees are in need and so have a right to receive assistance and support," Jochen Bohl, deputy Council chair of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and Lutheran bishop of Saxony, told the paper Rheinische Post in Düsseldorf. "Arsonists will not deter or discourage us in our commitment", Bohl declared, commenting on recent arson attacks on refugee hostels. There could be no talk of the prosperity of Germany being threatened by refugees, he added.

With respect to rightwing extremist agitation, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chair of the German Catholic Bishops' Conference and archbishop of Munich, stated: "Such actions are completely unacceptable and that has to be made very clear." Speaking on TV on Wednesday, Marx called for public opposition to xenophobia and comprehensive assistance for refugees.
At the same time Marx called for the use of means provided by "the rule of law". He did not assume that such extremists could be influenced by words and reprimands, he admitted.  "I don't know how to go about talking to such people."



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