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The Green Position Religion

By guaranteeing freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, the democratic rule-of-law state has renounced, once and for all, any claim to dictate the faith or world view of its citizens. It respects and protects the rights of members of faith communities to live in accordance with their beliefs. Believers are free to follow the tenets of their faith without interference from the state. In return, the democratic rule-of-law state requires that faith communities recognise Germany's democratic and republican constitution. The state also respects and protects the right not to profess a faith, as well as the right not to have to submit publicly to any faith.

Promoting dialogue

We Greens support the separation of Church and state. This is a fundamental prerequisite for churches and faith communities to play a positive role as key civil society actors. This applies equally to the Christian churches, the Jewish community and other faiths. We Greens have positive experience of the churches as valuable alliance partners on a range of issues – particularly the ecumenical process for peace, justice, and the preservation of the integrity of Creation, in campaigns against xenophobia and for international justice and, not least, in their ethical stance on modern genetic engineering issues.

Against the backdrop of globalisation, we are working to promote inter-faith dialogue. We oppose any attempt to discriminate against faith communities or to define them in a manner which does not accord with the religious pluralism that underpins our culture.

Islam: equal and integrated

Today, Islam is the second largest religion in Germany. We Greens want to ensure that Muslims and their organisations in Germany have the same rights as Christians and Jews. We want Islam to be equal and integrated. In the interests of integration policy, this must include the provision of training for Muslim clerics in Germany.

The German constitution, the Basic Law, guarantees freedom of religion, individual and collective, to all faiths. We therefore firmly oppose Islamophobia. Like all religious groups which seek to engage in legal cooperation with the state, we expect the Islamic organisations to actively defend others' freedom of religion, the freedom to change religion, and women's full rights of self-determination. Integration also means actively combating anti-Semitism and condemning discrimination and violence against homosexuals.