• Germany's news in English

Merkel: I believe in God, religion is my companion

The Local · 6 Nov 2012, 08:45

Published: 06 Nov 2012 08:45 GMT+01:00

"I am a member of the evangelical church. I believe in God and religion is also my constant companion, and has been for the whole of my life," she said on a videoblog when answering questions from a theology student.

"We as Christians should above all not be afraid of standing up for our beliefs," she added.

The structure of the world relating to belief was a, "framework for my life that I consider very important," she said.

The Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper noted on Tuesday that until now Merkel had been very quiet on the subject, despite the much-cited fact that her father was a protestant pastor.

She was more intensely affected by her family home and the Christian faith than she was by her study of physics and scientific thinking, her biographer Volker Resing suggested to the paper.

"And now she has realised that her avowal of Christianity is important - as a signal within the secular society, but also to her party members who have often accused her of not being concerned with the C [in the party's initials CDU]," he said.

Just less than a year before the general election in Germany, is the chancellor fishing for votes from the declining Christian community, despite friction with the Pope and her liberal position on stem cell research, the Frankfurter Rundschau asked.

Such a suggestion has always been too low for Merkel, which is in part why she has always kept religious questions private, the paper said. But it also suggested that her comments were a reaction to the strong media presence of the Muslim community in Germany.

Story continues below…

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:13 November 6, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Yeah, always a safe vote winner coming near an election. Should have a positive impact on the opinion polls. Maybe she thinks she can prey her way out of the Euro mess she has caused too. At this stage she might as well try everything.
10:29 November 6, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Here is the irony; Europhiles detest freedom of religion. Scream from morn til dusk about the disgusting religious Ami's. Meanwhile, Merkel prays and the Pope is a German. Project much?
11:56 November 6, 2012 by michael4096

What on earth are you on?
13:20 November 6, 2012 by Eric1
Good for her. Christianity for centuries has play an important role in shaping Europe into the wonderful place and caring people it now has. Of course, there are the anti-religious bigots lurking to attack anyone that expresses their positive views on Christianity.
14:22 November 6, 2012 by freechoice
Germany is blessed to have Merkel as a leader.
15:03 November 6, 2012 by lordkorner
But does she believe in Santa,and if not ,why not?
15:04 November 6, 2012 by Omufu
Agree with freechoice there. Also with Eric1. For all the faults of the institutionalised church, where would Europe be if it weren't for Christianity? For an idea, take a look at what happened under atheist communist and facist dictatorships last century, or what Europe was like before Christianity.

As a fact, Christians are by far the most persecuted religious group on the earth at the moment. Disturbing how few people are aware of that. Good that Angie stands up for her faith.
15:35 November 6, 2012 by Big L
Good for her to have the courage to say it. She is one of the few leaders who still believe in God and I am sure she will be blessed for that.
18:42 November 6, 2012 by raandy
She should rebuke her critics with " yes your are correct but we HAVE the money to make it work.
18:44 November 6, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
And low and behold another crusade has been sparked. Well done Dr. Merkyl and Mr. Hyde. Cannot beat religion to ignite violence. Even George W. Bush backtracked on that one.
20:49 November 6, 2012 by joysonabraham
Europeans nowadays realize they are born Christians(majority) only when they see people from other faiths.Most of them think that people with color are Muslims. If they come to know someone who is christian and non white then they think those guys converted to Christianity (and not Christians or followers of Jesus from the time of Jesus & his disciples)
16:58 November 7, 2012 by raandy
My comment # 9 was posted for the wrong article,hate it when that happens.

Mrs. Merkel is like all successful Politicians she plays the poll of public opinion.I respect her she is decent , hardworking and level headed . She's not perfect no politician is.
02:14 November 8, 2012 by mitanni
First time? Merkel has been extremely vocal about Christian faith, and nominated two staunch Christian conservatives. Merkel would be at home in the right wing of the Republican party, but without any respect for separation of church and state.
10:56 November 8, 2012 by Firmino
joysonabraham, no one is born Christian.
13:54 November 9, 2012 by Matt in Florida
It's odd to me as American to read this, it seems like it's almost like a homosexual coming out of the closet? Normal trditional people are rarer each passing day. The expectations of what was a norm is shocking to some now. Is it possible society will ever retrun to normal again?
01:01 November 10, 2012 by wendyb
Poster #2 - Isn't this a grandiose generalization? We all know, sadly, that atheism is everywhere. But I assure you, there are myriads of people of faith in Europe, who love and serve God, and who deeply care about there fellow man.
04:44 November 10, 2012 by Drewsky
I'm American and as you know, have we have just made it through another U.S. Election replete with crazy Christian politicians all over the place. Fortunately, the good guys won (for the most part). I don't see people like Merkel as being a threat to a secular state; she's just a traditional Christian who happens to have wanted to state her case for the record. Nothing wrong with that. If you want to watch for 'red flags', compare her to some American politicians (particularly from Southern states) who actually claim that the founding fathers of 1776 were Christians and that the USA is a Christian nation. Remain vigilant, but it's better to judge Angela on her economic acumen rather than her personal & family beliefs.
13:08 November 10, 2012 by ErnestPayne
Merkel would believe in the tooth fairy if it meant you would vote for her.
01:27 November 11, 2012 by wendyb
poster #18 - Merkel has said she has been a Christian for all of her life. So I'm assuming that would have been long before she ran for office.
18:53 November 11, 2012 by joysonabraham
@firmono. i hope you clearly understood what i mean. I didn't mean somebody as born with a cross in his hand.
01:32 November 14, 2012 by ambar
Frau Merkel only believes in votes for next elections...what she does while people dying , out of their homes and no jobs in many european countries? But she will have a big surprise from the south...it´s possible she will go home after elections.
03:21 November 17, 2012 by soros
Let's not go down that American path with religion. It hasn't done much for American unity and it wont do anything for Germany or Europe either. Religion should remain a private matter, not something to be paraded in public.
21:00 November 25, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
What Frau Merkel says she believes is quite different to what she does. Nevertheless, she is not the only politician who claims to be a Christian, while at the same time ignoring the teachings of Christ. Only God will have the right to pass the final judgement as to whether her way of life and her religious claims are in any way associated.

To support governments which blatantly commit war crimes, religious radicals who mishandle small children and allow laws to be passed which breach the written constitution of Germany, is to my mind not a Christian way of life. However, I am just a normal taxpayer, not judge or jury.
Today's headlines
Bishop buys €300k altar as refugee home rots
Bishop Konrad Zdarsa of Augsburg. Photo: DPA

Bishop buys €300k altar as refugee home rots

4 hours ago

The Bishop of Augsburg has announced plans to build a €300,000 altar in the city cathedral, just days after complaining that the city was underfunding refugees.

Five foolproof steps to do Advent like a German
The lighting of the first "Adventskranz" candle marks the start of the festive season. Photo: DPA

Five foolproof steps to do Advent like a German

5 hours ago

With the first Sunday of Advent almost upon us, The Local looks at how Germany celebrates the festive season - and what to look out for once Advent begins on November 29th.

Climate chaos threatens Germany, experts warn
Flooding in Bavaria in 2013. Photo: DPA

Climate chaos threatens Germany, experts warn

6 hours ago

Ever-more heat waves and floods will hit Germany over the coming century, posing serious challenges to the country’s agriculture and economy, a new analysis predicts.

Growth boosted by shopping and refugees
File photo: DPA

Growth boosted by shopping and refugees

10 hours ago

The German economy posted firm growth for the third quarter, boosted by consumer spending which is fast becoming a cornerstone for German economic expansion, data published Tuesday showed.

November set to break refugee arrivals record
Refugees at the German-Austrian border. Photo: DPA

November set to break refugee arrivals record

11 hours ago

November is set to break the record set in October for the highest number of refugees to arrive in Germany in one month, police reported on Monday.

Pegida marchers attack news cameraman

Pegida marchers attack news cameraman

12 hours ago

Police arrested two people in Dresden on Monday evening after a cameraman was attacked by anti-Islam demonstrators on the fringes of a much smaller gathering than recent weeks.

Volkswagen scandal
VW 'can fix 90 percent of cheating cars' in EU
File photo: DPA

VW 'can fix 90 percent of cheating cars' in EU

13 hours ago

German auto giant Volkswagen, mired in a massive emissions cheating scandal, said Monday that it has found technical solutions for more than 90 percent of the vehicles affected in Europe.

Lufthansa faces new strikes starting Thursday
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa faces new strikes starting Thursday

1 day ago

The troubled airline Lufthansa is facing a new round of strikes, after air crew union UFO told its members to head for the pickets on Thursday and Friday.

Germans 'waste valuable clothes': Greenpeace
Clothes donations at a refugee centre. Photo: DPA

Germans 'waste valuable clothes': Greenpeace

1 day ago

When it comes to what they wear, Germans have a throwaway culture. A new survey by Greenpeace shows that the words Schuster (cobbler) and Schneider (tailor) have become little more than surnames in modern society.

Funeral of Helmut Schmidt
Hamburg bids farewell to its most famous son
Pallbearers carry Helmut Schmidt's coffin away from the altar following the funeral service. Photo: DPA

Hamburg bids farewell to its most famous son

1 day ago

Thousands of people lined the streets of Hamburg on Monday to pay their respects to former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, as the great and the good of Germany, Europe and the world gathered in church to bid him farewell.

Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
German ISS astronaut tells kids to follow their dreams
Sponsored Article
Why family companies need free trade and TTIP
90 percent of Germans want tougher security
Sponsored Article
'Innovative companies like Hövding benefit most from TTIP'
Are you living in Germany's most expensive city?
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Should singer accused of homophobia represent Germany at Eurovision?
70 years since the Nuremberg Trials
The German connection in the Paris attacks
Snow expected on 'first weekend of winter'
10 years of Angela Merkel in Berlin
Could soldiers soon be patrolling German streets?
Second German Paris victim was teacher and journalist
'We can't beat Isis with military means'
How will Germany help France fight Isis?
One German confirmed dead in Paris attacks
'Don't take Paris out on refugees': German defence minister
Germany's minute of silence for Paris victims
Nightclub bans refugees for harassing women
OPINION: Refugees must learn to respect German values
The ancient German community at the heart of Texas
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd