Thuringia vote worries German faith leaders

01 November 2019


Demonstrators display placards during an AfD election-campaign rally

Demonstrators display placards during an AfD election-campaign rally

BISHOPS and representatives of the Muslim and Jewish communities in the eastern German federal state of Thuringia have expressed concern after nearly one quarter (24 per cent) of voters last Sunday voted for the extreme right-wing party AfD (Alternative for Germany) in regional elections.

The chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, wrote on Twitter: “We concerned citizens are very worried about our democracy. . . This is much more than an ‘alarm signal.”

The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, said that in Thuringia, especially, there is no doubt about the nationalist right-wing orientation of the party. “Everyone who voted for the AfD on Sunday bears a share of the responsibility for gradually undermining the foundations of our democracy.”

In a statement on Monday, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Erfurt, the Rt Revd Ulrich Neymeyr, said that the result of the regional elections was a great challenge as it showed a clear polarisation in Thuringian society. He called on the Thuringians to defend “our values” against populists at informal get-togethers, among friends, and in the workplace.

Bishop Neymeyr said: “Acting democratically means more than going to the polls.”

Forthcoming Events

21-22 February 2020
Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature
For 2020 the Bloxham festival celebrates ‘The Power of Love’. Book tickets

26 March 2020
Theology Slam Live Final
Theology Slam is back, continuing its search for the most engaging young voices on theology and the contemporary world. Find out more

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read five articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)