Ecumenical News International

Former EKD Council Chair Nikolaus Schneider receives Federal Cross of Merit

September 14, 2015

Berlin (epd). Nicholas Schneider (68), former chair of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), is to be honored with the Federal Cross of Merit for his social commitment and work to combat anti-Semitism. President Joachim Gauck will make the award at a ceremony marking the Day of German Unity (3 October) in his residence, Castle Bellevue, according to a spokesperson of the president in Berlin.

"The theologian's work is characterized by great commitment to the social issues of our age," according to the explanatory statement issued by the president's office. Schneider has always stood up for protecting human dignity and social justice, it continues, highlighting his commitment to Jewish-Christian cooperation. "He has repeatedly opposed all forms of anti-Semitism in Germany," the document states.

Schneider was born in Duisburg and was president of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland from 2003 to 2013. After Margot Käßmann's resignation in 2010, he succeeded her as chair of the EKD Council. Last year Schneider laid down his office in order to have more time with his wife, who has cancer.



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