A Religion of two worlds


In West Europe, pastor look benches are often empty Church. Very different in Zambia. About 95 percent of the people are professing Christians and there are more. A search for reasons of Tessa Walther in Lindau.

On the stage, representatives of different religions holding hands. Dozens of rows of chairs fill the room in dim light. The view from the back of the stage passes by in colorful robes, tightly wrapped Kimonos, black suits. The tenth world Assembly of “Religions for Peace” in Lindau on lake Constance, with participants from 125 countries, is also a cosmos in the Small. One of the suits of the Catholic Bishop David Masupa is. The 59-Year-old is the Chairman of the “Independent churches of Zambia”, an Ecumenical umbrella organisation with more than 1500 churches, and an estimated 200,000 of the faithful. And every year more and more: “We have in Zambia is a clear propagation of the Christian faith. Every month I get requests from at least ten churches that want to join us.”

In the same hall, just a few rows more, sitting Brendle, the Catholic priest Franz. For years, the 78-Year-old self has passed a Catholic Church in the vicinity of Ludwigsburg, today, he is Chairman of the German Department of the “Religions for Peace”. He is also thrilled by the opening ceremony of the five-day event. But by the same enthusiasm for the Church in Germany, he can’t speak: “I am often, as the representative on Sunday in the municipalities, and since sometimes I’m almost the Youngest, with more than 70. This is a bit depressing and shameful for me.”

“In Western Europe, the bond with the Church in decline”

Franz Brendle (r) at the world meeting in Lindau

Franz Brendle not alone. In Western Europe the number of people who feel the Christian denomination nationalities, each year continues to fall. According to the prestigious PEW Research Center, only one in ten Germans said that Religion was very important to him. In France, there are eleven per cent. Only Greece, with 56 per cent, raises the European average. The future does not look good for the churches in once-Christian Europe.

“In the whole of Western Europe, we see that the feeling of connectedness with the Church in decline,” says the münster religion sociologist Detlef Pollack. For him, this is mainly due to the fact that people in Europe could today determine much more about their own lives than in the past. “This applies to all areas of life, from the choice of a partner to the choice of profession and the religious sector.” These new freedoms were with the Church, which is often perceived as an authoritarian Institution, not compatible. Priest Brendle is no longer true: “These hierarchical structures, especially in the Catholic Church, the young people accept today.”

Church, family, state in Zambia is strongly linked

Very different in Zambia. There, the young people of the Church seem to be grateful. Because you’ll help many of you, get an education or find a Job. The Institution is networked in the country, will be explained in Bishop Masupa.

Bishop David Masupa on the world Assembly of the religions

He is a Board member of several private and public institutions. This assistance was in his country a lot of value. Although the unemployment rate is officially just around eight percent. But Masupa complains of severe social and economic problems. The people would drink more, sexual violence take. “The churches play a very large role in the abuses to absorb in society.”

However, next to the Church, the families play an important role in the Christian Faith in many African countries, and to spread, says religion sociologist Pollack. This is because, unlike in Europe, there are in Zambia no social welfare state. It is the Relatives who cared for himself. “The families have a strong position, and is naturally transported to the Religion. The structures, from which one can not move without further ADO.” A social and financial dependency, which stands in contrast to the individual freedom of the Europeans. The contrast reveals a lot of what the Catholic Church currently has and what is also felt in Lindau in talks to.

“The people on’s mouth look”

It is this freedom should take on the churches in Germany, according to the priest Brendle serious, to inspire people back to the Church. He calls for a greater say for communities and wants to come to the members again: “Luther has already said ‘You have to look people in the mouth’.” What is meant is that The Church should speak the language of the people, not in the traditional liturgies hold, but in the Modern arrive. This includes ensuring that women be allowed as priests, as married men.

Bishop Masupa do not need to deal with these questions – because to be modern, he explains, means in his country to be Christian. And a clear message am: “The Christian Faith gives people in Zambia, hope, hope that God cares for you and that you will cope with the current problems.” He is sure that Faith will guide the people for many decades.