News about Germany

The Refugees are Here

September 24, 2015: How one German pastor is teaching his people to welcome #refugees from Syria. Doctoral student Ryan Hoselton interviewed the pastor of Calvary Church Heidelberg about his recent sermon to his congregation – via Leadership Journal.

The Breaking Point? Germany's Asylum System Struggles to Cope

September 11, 2015: As the migrant influx continues, the 'Refugees Welcome' high is beginning to wear off. People are beginning to wonder if Germany will really be able to cope with all the newcomers. And the system is already completely overwhelmed. By SPIEGEL Staff

German neo-Nazi Protestors Clash with Police at New Migrant Shelter

August 23, 2015: In August, the town of Heidenau, which is on Dresden's southeastern edge and just seven miles from TEAMers Jeff & Anne Ingram's apartment, received about 600 refugees. They are being housed in a building supply store called Praktiker which went out of business a few years ago. Unfortunately, the arrival of the refugees made international news—for all the wrong reasons. Read this story by Kate Connolly in The Guardian by clicking on the title.

Killing of Eritrean Refugee in Dresden Exposes Racial Tensions in Germany

January 15, 2015: Khaled B., a refugee from Eritrea, was murdered just a 10-minute walk from TEAMers Jeff & Anne Ingram's apartment. A series of events that occurred in the wake of Khaled's murder have led to them become sponsors for Khaled's roommates. Read The Guardian article about the murder and the tensions in the city by clicking the link above.

January 13, 2015: Pegida Supporters & Rivals Have Marched in Dresden video report via @BBCWorld – one of the best explanations of Pegida's rising popularity.

January 6, 2015: Germany Pegida Protests: Rallies over "Islamization" video report via @BBCWorld

December 16, 2014: Anti-Islam Pegida March in German city of Dresden video report via @BBCWorld

In German City Rich with History and Tragedy, Tide Rises Against Immigration

December 7, 2014: For the past seven Mondays, the number of disgruntled Dresden residents protesting against lax immigration and asylum laws and the supposed islamization of Germany has been steadily increasing. The PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of Germany) protests have been front page news for the past few weeks, not just in Dresden, but also in Germany's national press. As the protests have gathered steam, an opposition movement called "Dresden for All" was quickly organized. On December 8 Jeff & Anne Ingram took part in the first Dresden for All protest against PEGIDA—they were just two out of 9000 others who stood against 10,000 PEGIDA demonstrators with 1200 police in riot gear keeping the two groups separate. The atmosphere was tense. Read the NY Times article by clicking on the title above. #DresdenInitiative

If you speak German, read the article entitled "The New Anger out of the East" in the FAZ.

Thousands Protest Asylum Policy in Dresden

December 2, 2014: More than 7,000 opponents of Germany's policy towards asylum seekers marched in the eastern city on Monday evening. Their  march through Dresden's Neustadt came to a halt when 1000 people protesting the protest march sat down in the street and refused to let the crowd of 7000 pass. Read the article in The Local: German's News in English by clicking on the link above.  #DresdenInitiative

Anti-Refugee Demo Reveals Xenophobia

November 25, 2104: German media were almost united this weekend in condemning demonstrations against refugee housing in the Berlin suburb of Marzahn-Hellersdorf - but can far-right sentiment ever really be overcome? Read the article in The Local: German's News in English by clicking on the link above.

The High Before the Crash: German's Crystal Meth Pandemic

March 12, 2014: In recent years, crystal meth use seems to have exploded in Germany particularly along the Czech border in Saxony and Bavaria. By some estimates, these two German states have more crystal meth addicts than alcoholics. After TEAM church planter Jeff Ingram preached one Sunday in March 2014 in the EV Free Church (FeG) of Pirna, he and his wife were approached by a couple who had been foster parents for a 13-year-old girl. Her mom was a crystal meth addict and had gotten her daughter addicted to the drug as well. The foster parents asked the Ingrams if they had any contacts in other parts of Germany who might be willing to serve as foster parents after the girl was released from a six-week drug rehab program. They said: "We've got to get her out of this environment before it kills her." Click on the title to read this article in Der Spiegel's English edition. #DresdenInitiative

Thousands Form Human Chain in Dresden

Feb. 14, 2014: Thousands of people gathered in Dresden on Thursday night to remember the destruction of the city by Allied bombers in World War II. For the first time in more than a decade, neo-Nazis stayed away from the memorial. Read the rest of the article in The Local Germany by clicking on the title. #DresdenInitiative

Postcard from Dresden

Feb. 14, 2013: "Dresden is enjoying some credit for having seen off the far right. On 13 February of almost every year since German reunification, the city on the Elbe has been the scene of neo-Nazi 'memorial marches' commemorating and protesting against the devastating Allied bombardment of the city in 1945." Read the rest of the article in the online edition of Britain's Independent newspaper by clicking the title. #DresdenInitiative

Overly Overcast: Germany Weathers Darkest Winter in 43 Years

On February 26, 2013, Germany's Der Spiegel magazine reported: "Winter in Germany is typically a grim affair, dark and steeped in the kind of chilly damp that goes straight to the bones  – and, unhappily, to the psyche. But many residents feel that this winter has been particularly hard to bear." Click the title above to read the rest of this article on Der Spiegel's English-language website.

German Catholics lose church rights for unpaid tax

​On September 24, 2012, the BBC News reported that "Germany's Roman Catholics are to be denied the right to Holy Communion or religious burial if they stop paying a special church tax." Because the German Catholic and Lutheran churches are state churches, their members contribute to their church financially by paying Kirchensteuer, or church tax, to the government. The government in turn distributes the taxes it collects to the churches. Because the number of Germans resigning their membership in the state church has been increasing, the Catholic and Lutheran churches are feeling pressure financially. To read the full article, click the title to link directly to the article.

The article is misleading in one fine, but important point. It states: "All Germans who are officially registered as Catholics, Protestants or Jews pay a religious tax of 8-9% on their annual income tax bill." This could be misleading. The only Protestants that pay the church tax are those that belong to the Evangelische Kirche, or Lutheran church. Protestants who are members of "free" churches, such as the Freie evangelische Gemeinde (Evangelical Free Church), do not pay this tax even though they may be officially registered as members of a "free" church (it also may not be possible to register with the government as a member of a free church). These believers support their "free" churches with free will offerings.

Achtung, Deutschland!

August 1, 2012: "Spiritual complacency rules in Germany, where most Christians seem more concerned with planning their next vacation than a move of God. But an influx of foreign Pentecostals shows early signs of reawakening the German church," published in Charisma magazine by Peter K. Johnson. Although TEAM Germany works with the German Evangelical Free Church, not the Pentecostals, this article provides good insight into the spiritual situation in Germany and some recent developments in one German "free church."

The Other Iranian Revolution

July 17, 2012: In "godless" eastern Germany, Iranian refugees surprise pastors with their interest in Christianity, by Matthias Pankau and Uwe Siemon-Netto, posted in Christianity Today. Click the title link above to read this encouraging article.

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