The Drive-in with God


Germany’s soul is burning. Quietly and anonymously. Between the tank holidaymakers and truck drivers in motorway churches candles for their fellow human beings in places and Trucks kindle. A report on religious fast food “made in Germany”.

These prayers are meant for the sky: “Dear God, give my father the power to die and protect my son in Afghanistan.” “Like all who suffer from cancer, God is on your side.” “Thank you for this man at my side.”

Gratitude and Depression, diseases, disasters, and careers in the entries of the concerns of the books that are available in each of the highway Church, reflects Germany’s soul.

Gratitude, grief, and cries for help In the concern books of the visitors reveal your soul

The visitors of the motorway churches are looking for a break from the Stress on the highway, leave the wires for a few minutes, the continuously bustling traffic, the Germany. You are part of a growing community – the anonymous traveler highway Church visitors.

Anonymous and attractive

“The Church is for me like a tent, a shelter, where nothing can happen,” says Katharina Schulz (Name changed), 19 years old, after the visit of the motorway Church at siegerland. “I always come here when I’m in trouble.”

Gerhard Sauer from the nearby nine churches, a weekly evening appreciates the devotion. “To my Senses, I was often times alone. But the short devotions to go is full. Since a voltage is always there,” says the Mitsechziger.

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Beautiful pray

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Beautiful pray

The 2013 opened, the motorway Church at siegerland at A 45 offers a relaxation room next to the endless background noise of tires rolling. Around 2000 visitors come on a monthly basis. Eleven concerns the books you have already Asked with your Wishes, and thank-yous filled.

Stop without anger

The entries show a Germany without hatred. “The people write their Concerns, and their thanks, the less their rage,” says Ute Pohl. In contrast to the “chat rooms of the modern media, the search Element can be found here,” says the Chairman of the Association for the promotion of the motorway Church at siegerland.

Ute Pohl is the Chairman of the Association for the promotion of the motorway Church Siegerland

Many of the visitors take a share in the thoughts and Prayers of the entries reflect. Sometimes, even add your own thoughts. Also Alessia hopes that their complaints will be heard, especially from your friend who has left you. She comes regularly in the highway chapel of St. Raphael at the service station Nievenheim in Cologne and writes your love sorrow of the soul.

Under the eyes of the Archangel Raphael, the young woman opens her heart. “Dear God, I really wanted to come out with positive feelings, if I let You in here,” begins the entry in the cause book, which is on a stand in the right corner of the chapel opened. “Back please give Stefan the Faith in our relationship”.

Hope for the Holy spirit

This communing between couples also takes place in the motorway Church at siegerland. Ute Pohl is familiar with the phenomenon: “The people who make such a record, hope for an answer,” she says, and adds with a grin: “If it happens here in the Church, then we want to hope that the Holy spirit exerts its positive effect”.

The municipality of the highway Church of visitors is growing. Around a Million people each year take advantage of the break in the Asphalt. The first motorway Church was inaugurated in Germany in 1958, on the A8 in the Bavarian town of adelsried. Meanwhile, their number has risen to 47 houses of worship. And also in Austria and Switzerland, there are now a highway of churches.

The growth comes from below. A Central point for the planning of the motorway churches, there is not. As is the case with the Church in Siegerland, there are often private persons, clubs or Church congregations, to build chapels on their own account.

Throughout The Catholic motorway chapel St. Raphael opened: at the roadhouse Nievenheim on the A57

In contrast to traditional Church congregations, the visitors of the motorway, stay churches is usually not longer than five to ten minutes, found a study from the center for Church social research of the Catholic University of applied Sciences in Freiburg. The majority is bound by the Church, about 50 years old , male, married and live in Germany.

Five Minutes Of Reflection

The anonymity of the highway is attractive. Those who have once stopped, the study said, come again on the next trip. Most of the visitors not to disturb it, that only rarely will a pastor be present, on the contrary. Two-thirds would spontaneously stop, light a candle and say a short prayer.

A truck driver, Herbert (Name changed) is one of these regular visitors. At least twice a week, he stops at the Protestant motorway Church Medenbach: “Just come down, and the things sink in.”

Muscular protrudes its body from the dark blue Shorts. He’s a solid step on the glass entrance door, pushes it gently, past the Altar and burn a sacrifice candle. Then he sits down on one of the chairs made of light wood, lowers his head, pauses and enjoys the Moment of silence.

His gaze remains to the many victims of the candles: “the fact That you light a candle in the Church to the memory of friends and fellow human beings, I get time from my friend taught,” he recalls. After a short Pause, he adds: “The girlfriend I have forgotten, but the Ritual is still there.”