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Two free churches in Germany under surveillance for extremism

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution monitors the movement of a Baptist and a free Evangelical church for “extremist statements” and conspiracy theories.

FUENTES Pro Medien Magazin AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus Stuttgart 27 DE JUNIO DE 2023 15:00 h
Beate Bube (left), chair of the Baden-Würtemberg Office for the Protection of the Constitution, presenting the 2022 report on extremism. / Photo: [link]verfassungsschutz-bw.de[/link].

Two free evangelical churches in Germany known for its radical positions on socio-political affairs are under surveillance of the authorities.



In the State of Baden-Würtemberg, the head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Beate Bube, told the regional parliament that the Evangelische Freikirche Riedlingen (Protestant Free Church of Riedlingen) is under surveillance because of extremist statements.



According to the report made public and picked up by German magazine Pro Medien Magazin, “the preacher disseminates - offline and online - political content and positions that undermine trust in democratic decision-making processes as well as state representatives and institutions in an anti-constitutional manner”. Pastor J.T. has 25,000 subscribers on Youtube and, always according to the authorities, shares “extremist conspiracy ideologies and makes comparisons with National Socialism [Nazism]”. The preacher rebelled against what he called a “total vaccination war” during the Covid-19 pandemic and called politicians “unjust and arbitrary rulers” who were controlled by satanic powers.



The pastor is a trained theologian who served in the state Protestant Church (EKD) in the 1990s. Since 2018, his church is no longer a member of the Federation of Free Evangelical Churches (BEFG), and in 2015 this federation distanced itself from the pastor due to “derogatory statements about refugees”.



 



“Massive devaluation of homosexuals”



The second church monitored by the authorities in Baden-Würtemberg is the Baptistenkirche Pforzheim (Baptist Church of Pforzheim), accused of “massive devaluation of homosexuals”, who, according to the report, have been called “dirt, rubbish, walking filth”.



This church could have violated the hate speech laws, Beate Bube told the parliament, according to Pro Medien Magazin. This congregation is connected to larger church in the United States, and advocates for the death penalty for homosexual people on its website, “because of the clear statement in Genesis 20:13”. German laws are influenced by “faggot politics”, the church leadership has said.



Responding to parliamentarians, the head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution did not clarify if these churches risked being closed by the government. 



[analysis]



  [title] The work of the Office [/title]



  [photo]

[/photo]



 [text]The information about these two evangelical churches was presented in the context of a larger report on extremism. According to its website, the regional State Office for the Protection of the Constitution monitors right-wing and left-wing extremism, terrorism, Islamic extremism, and actors who delegitimate the state, espionage among other actions. It also specifically monitors the Scientology Church in Germany.There is not such office that is national, but every federal state has its own authority. [/text]



[/analysis]



 



 


 

 


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