• Germany's news in English
 

Merkel: I believe in God, religion is my companion

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.

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
@IchBinKönig

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
JobTalk Germany
Graduates desperate to work for car giants
BMW are the most attractive employer for business and engineering graduates. Photo: DPA

Graduates desperate to work for car giants

A survey published on Monday shows that the car industry is the most attractive place of work for German business graduates and engineers alike. READ  

Language fails
Minster wows crowds with Denglisch
Gerd Müller, left, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to his right. Photo: DPA

Minster wows crowds with Denglisch

Development Minister Gerd Müller recently captivated crowds at the Global Citizen Earth Day in Washington, D.C. with his enthusiastic - if erratic - English. The speech has since gone viral. READ  

Arms firms struggle to meet ethics mark
A Leopard 2 tank made by Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. Photo: DPA.

Arms firms struggle to meet ethics mark

A report released on Monday by Transparency International UK found that German arms companies had a spotty record in their ethics and anti-corruption programmes. READ  

Chancellor's office 'knew' of US economic spying
An 18-meter-across satellite dish at the BND's Bad Aibling listening post. Photo: DPA

Chancellor's office 'knew' of US economic spying

Chancellor Angela Merkel's office has known since 2008 of US economic espionage targeting European companies such as Airbus but did not react, Bild said Monday, citing intelligence agency documents. READ  

Munich toddler safe after late-night adventure
Munich streets in the dead of night. Photo: DPA

Munich toddler safe after late-night adventure

A two and a half year-old toddler was found wandering through the streets of Munich by police in the early hours of Monday morning. Luckily he was return unharmed to his relieved parents. READ  

Public pitch in to find refugee home arsonists
A set of keys found at the scene of the crime. Photo:DPA

Public pitch in to find refugee home arsonists

After police made a public appeal for information in the arson attack on a refugee home on a television programme on Sunday evening, more than 30 members of the public got in touch. READ  

Greece crisis
Merkel and Tsipras have 'positive' phone chat
Merkel and Tsipras meet in Brussels on 23 April. Photo: DPA

Merkel and Tsipras have 'positive' phone chat

Athens will resume talks with its creditors Monday, a Greek government source said, after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke on the phone with Chancellor Angela Merkel. READ  

Bayern stroll to 25th Bundesliga title
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola on the sidelines against Hertha on Saturday. Photo: DPA

Bayern stroll to 25th Bundesliga title

FC Bayern Munich found out they had won the Bundesliga title with four games to spare when their only rivals Vfl Wolfsburg lost 1-0 to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday. READ  

Government knew of threat to Ukraine flights
Investigators at the scene of the MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine in mid-April 2015. Photo: DPA

Government knew of threat to Ukraine flights

Berlin knew the risks of flying over war-torn east Ukraine before Flight MH17 was shot out of the sky last year but did not inform German airlines, media reported on Sunday. READ  

Pro-Kremlin bikers defy bans on Berlin ride
Photo: DPA

Pro-Kremlin bikers defy bans on Berlin ride

Dozens of bikers from pro-Kremlin gang the Night Wolves on Saturday set off on a ride to Berlin ahead of the anniversary of Soviet victory in World War II, despite Poland and Germany barring the riders. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,170
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd
?>