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Call to drop ‘race’ from German constitution

19 June 2020

PA

Thousands of people form a human chain through Berlin, Germany, on Sunday, in protest against racism, discrimination, and social inequality in the country

Thousands of people form a human chain through Berlin, Germany, on Sunday, in protest against racism, discrimination, and social inequality in the cou...

THE Evangelical Bishop of Berlin, Dr Christian Stäblein, in a “Word from the Bishop” address last weekend on local radio, welcomed calls in Germany for the removal of the word “race” from the German constitution.

Addressing the movement Black Lives Matter, he said: “It starts with language. It betrays us. The word ‘race’ itself is more than problematic. For decades, no reasonable person has spoken about people as different races. It is the nonsensical ideology, originating in the 19th century and bringing terror and death to the world in the 20th century, to want to classify people according to external characteristics and to distinguish strictly between them.”

“There are no races, but there is racism: the arrogance over others that resonates in the concept of race,” Bishop Stäblein continued.

He also called for the 1958 Coventry Litany of Reconciliation, which is prayed every Friday in Berlin churches, to drop the word “race” from “The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class.”

The Bishop said: “It is a sincere, strong prayer in the struggle for God’s reconciliation, a prayer against all racism, which I do not think needs the word ‘race’. The hatred that divides us humans, Father, forgive! Yes, forgive. And give us strength to stand up for one another.”

The Bishop’s jurisdiction is the Evangelical Church of Berlin, Brandenburg, and Silesian Upper Lusatia.

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