Court dispute on Church asylum completed


Administration and justice in Germany is strictly against Church asylum. For the first Time a Priest stood before the court, because it granted Church asylum. The process is not completed, a judgment there is.

Pastor Ulrich Gampert sitting on the dock

In Germany, a Christian Minister with a sitting because of the practice of granting sanctuary is in the dock – and the affected refugee, an Afghan, an equal. However, the experts with the voltage observed procedure was without judgment.

Pastor Ulrich Gampert from Immenstadt in the Allgäu and his congregation had houses migrants for more than a year in Church asylum. The judiciary accused him, therefore, the aid to illegal stay.

Gampert had initially received a penalty order above 4000 Euro. Because he put in an objection, landed the case before the court. According to experts, was quoted for the first time in Germany, a Clergyman because of the granting of Church asylum before the court and accused. Also, the affected refugee, Reza Jafari, had received a penalty order and appeal. According to the decision of the court he must do 80 hours of community service.

Also on the bench of the refugee Reza Jafari (m.)

Low Debt

The presiding judge of the district court in the Bavarian town of Sonthofen saw only a low level of debt, and discontinued the proceedings against the 64-year-old pastor. However, he, the Familiar describe as a quiet and reserved need to pay, to a charitable institution, a fine in the amount of 3000 euros, on which all Parties agreed. Legally, it is interesting to note that the setting of the proceedings, no Revision is possible.

The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Bavaria revealed after the decision “pleased and relieved”. In the leadership of the Church for asylum, the competent Oberkirchenrat Michael Martin stressed, however, “as a country Church, we would like to get a clarification of principles, whether the granting of Church asylum aid to illegal stay”.

Buoyed by the solidarity of many colleagues – the priest of his Church in Immenstadt

The dispute moved many committed Church communities. So there was the end of July in Kempten, the next larger city next to Immenstadt and Sonthofen, scenes that you saw in Germany, rarely before. There’s about a hundred priests and Church representatives of different denominations in the liturgical vestments in the silent March through the town. “Church asylum is not a criminal!”, it was on signs. Or “Everyone has the right to enjoy asylum from persecution”.

The dispute will be sharper

In the “case Gampert” gets a for years, sharper of dispute to the Church asylum-a new Dimension. Since the 1980s, parishes in individual grant cases, people who are threatened of deportation, and protection. With this Action against them situation the applicable set of rights, but they invoke the humanitarian emergency. But time and again, politicians criticize this practice. And in a number of cases, security forces also broke into the Church premises and ended the protection of refugees.

The Federal office for Migration and refugees (BAMF) in Nuremberg

According to Church information Church communities to be granted in Bavaria, not least in some 80 cases of Church asylum, 35 of them in Protestant institutions. Not infrequently, these are people from Afghanistan, the fear of deportation to their homeland or repatriation to another country with much stricter expulsion practice as Germany. Nationwide, there are several hundred cases.

“Law and Order”

The Federal office for Migration and refugees (BAMF) is reinforced on deportations from Church asylum and refers to a mid-2018, which entered into force procedures. Church experts criticize the sharp. “Who bears his head on the shoulders, in the eyes of the BAMF, no case of hardship”, said recently the Chairman of the Federal working group “asylum in the Church”, the Evangelical pastor Dietlind Jochims. This Wednesday, she told Deutsche Welle, the process against pastor Gampert show “quite exemplary” there is an acute Problem.

Dietlind Jochims, Evangelical pastor

In the interpretation of the concept of rule of law development “of the people-friendliness of the Law, pointing to” the “hardness of the Law” and “Law-and-order mentality of the rule of law”, the need to discuss experts wider. To ask other clerics involved in recent cases of Church asylum, share the indignation of Jochims over the course of the Federal office and the courts.

Pastor Gampert showed up after the hearing on the setting of the procedure easier. It was important to him that he merely has to pay a fine – “and that is not to say that it is in principle a criminal offence is to grant Church asylum, or to take advantage of it”.


The current information sheet for his community displays right next to a photo of the silent March protesting priests and pastors another image. It shows a young man with a Smile on his face. Beneath is written: “Reza Jafari thanks for the time in Church asylum.” He was able to leave the sanctuary months ago, after the petitions Committee of the Bavarian Landtag had decided to make a stop to the deportations. But it runs out in November.