Not only the major social ies are on the agenda under the slogan "What a trust". This time, the Kirchentag will also include a sports program. The German president and chancellor have confirmed their attendance.
Pray, sing, discuss – this time in Dortmund. Around 100.000 participants are expected from the 19. to 23. June Protestant Kirchentag expected in the Ruhr metropolis. The program will again include ethical debates – especially on climate and the environment, refugees, right-wing populism, fake news and poverty among the elderly.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his three predecessors, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), and other representatives from politics and society are attending. Unlike the Kirchentag in Berlin two years ago and the 2018 Katholikentag in Munster, the AfD will not get a forum this time around.
"What a trust"
After 1963 and the Ruhr District Church Congress in 1991, the Protestant Christian meeting takes place in Dortmund for the third time. Under the slogan "What a trust" it offers no less than 2.000 individual events, around one-third of them cultural. According to the motto of a workshop "Are you still silent or are you already singing??"Pop-Rock aus'm Pott" and other spiritual music plays a major role on the main stages at Hansa-, Friedensplatz and Altem Markt as well as several side stages.
"Sport is like religion and faith"
In the city of this year's runner-up BVB, the Christian meeting comes up with a special feature: For the 70th anniversary of the Kirchentag, there will be a center for sports for the first time at the suggestion of the host Evangelical Church of Westphalia (EKvW).
"Sport – like religion and faith – is one of the great social binding forces of the present," emphasizes President Annette Kurschus. At the center, athletes, academics, fans and critics discuss team spirit "on the pitch" and in church, or the desire or compulsion to succeed. Ice rink, dance floor or a sailboat on Lake Phoenix invite practical exercises.
At a climbing tower, participants are to practice the trust for which the Kirchentag advertises in its motto. Federal President and Chancellor also deal with confidence. The panel with Steinmeier, former Research Minister Annette Schavan and science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar will discuss "trusting the future in the digital modern age". And "Trust as the basis of international politics?" is the theme of Merkel and Liberia's ex-president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Creation and the environment
According to Kurschus, the common thread of the Christian meeting is the topic of migration and integration, which she herself will discuss with former German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere. On the complex of creation and the environment, which is also part of the DNA of the Kirchentag, the responsible federal minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) explains her view of things, as does "Fridays for Future" activist Luisa Neubauer. The prime ministers of Baden-Wurttemberg and Bavaria, the Green Winfried Kretschmann and the Christian Socialist Markus Soder, argue about what is still conservative and what is already right-wing populist.
The Kirchentag presidium, headed by Hans Leyendecker, has already found an answer to the question – and has not invited AfD representatives to the debates. Because in the meantime there are connections of the party to the right-wing extremism and anti-constitutional networks. Leyendecker identifies an advancing radicalization of the party and sees it on the way to a frontal attack on democracy.
Panel on "German Angst"
Representatives from the ecumenical community have a natural place. A little less than usual already – however, in 2021 there is yes the 3. Ecumenical Church Congress. Dortmund gives more weight to interreligious dialogue, for example at the panel on "German Angst. Meant to address the question of the status of Islam in Germany. As in previous years, a "Center for Muslims and Christians" and a "Center for Jews and Christians" will open in the city in the Ruhr area.
Gender justice and sexual diversity get wide coverage. A traffic light in the Kirchentag app will indicate the extent to which events on this or other ies are overcrowded. Many a person who discovers in the program the workshop "painting vulvas" will see red quite independently of the digital display.