Ecumenical News International

Rhineland church faces up to xenophobia with a participatory poster campaign

May 17, 2016

Düsseldorf. (epd). The Evangelical Church in the Rhineland has announced a campaign in which numerous public figures and celebrities appeal for compassion, tolerance and dignified dealings with immigrants and refugees. Presenting the portrait poster campaign yesterday in Düsseldorf, Church president Manfred Rekowski explained: "The initiative 'We are all human' aims to remind us that as Christians we are constantly challenged to declare ourselves and show our face for God's cause."

 The campaign wants to point out that the Bible contains over 30 texts against xenophobia. Rhineland church parishes are expected to strongly support it over the next few months. Billboards and posters are going to be put up in over 100 towns and cities in its extensive church territory.

Supporters from the world of politics and culture

The theme of the campaign is "God's Word teaches us to love our neighbor, not to hate". Supporters include Volker Bouffier (CDU), premier of Hesse, and his counterparts in North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, premiers Hannelore Kraft, Malu Dreyer (both SPD) and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU).

Public figures who have agreed to show their faces on posters include Roman Catholic Bishop Stephan Ackermann, Evonic CEO Klaus Engel and musician Dieter Falk. Others include Armin Laschet, CDU opposition leader in the NRW parliament, and NRW parliamentary speaker Carina Gödecke (CDU).

People wishing to support the campaign are asked take a public position by linking their photo with a sentence from the Bible or Christian tradition that calls for humane dealings with strangers. They can join the campaign on postcards, posters or on the internet, and even create their own posters online. The immediate appeal to participate goes to Christians, regardless of their denomination, but members of other faith are naturally also welcome to take part.

The Evangelical Church in the Rhineland has 2.6 million members and is the second largest Protestant regional church in Germany. It extends over parts of the federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Hesse.

Website of the action "We are all human"



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