“I’m full of joy, redeemed, set free” is the slogan being used by the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. It is taken from the opening lines of a psalm-poem by the Rhineland cabaret artist and writer Hanns Dieter Hüsch (1925-2005).

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Die Gemeinden anderer Sprache und Herkunft arbeiten im Internationalen Kirchenkonvent zusammen. The congregations of different language and origin work together in the international convent of churches.

Congregations of Different Language and Origin

Among Christians no-one should be a stranger

Worldwide ecumenism doesn’t just happen at conferences out there in the big wide world. We can find international ecumenical fellowship right here in the Rhineland, on our doorstep. It is particularly demonstrated by the so-called “congregations of different language and culture”. 

More than half of the people who come to Germany from all over the world and settle down here are Christians. They wish to celebrate regular Services of Worship in their own language. They wish to be part of a community which has a cultural identity that is familiar to them. They are looking for a place where they can feel at home, here in North Rhine Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hessen or the Saarland. 

Ongoing differences, living peaceably with one another

Among Christians no-one should be a stranger. In the New Testament there is a repeated emphasis that ongoing differences of culture, language and nationality should not play a role within their ranks.  For that reason we no longer speak of “foreign” or “foreign-language” congregations. In a multi-religious and a multicultural society congregations of other languages and origins come together with the Evangelical Church to provide an example of living side by side in a peaceful, creative and community-oriented way.

In the area covered by the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland (EKiR) there are around 270 congregations of different language and origin.  140 of these have joined together to form the “international association of churches” (internationaler Kirchenkonvent) to enable them to work together with the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland (EKiR) and the Evangelical Church of Westphalia (EKvW).

Contact with the Regional Minister

The Regional Minister Markus Schaeffer is the contact person for congregations of different language and origin in both Rhineland and Westphalia. He mediates between host churches and congregations of different languages, offering advice and care.  He supports regional and local networks and organises joint training programmes. 

Contact: Tel: 0211  4562-394, E-Mail: markus.schaefer@ekir-lka.de 

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ekir.de / schae, neu / 17.11.2016



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