Protestant Kirchentag: LSVD demands “curious church”

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Under the motto “You see me”, the 36th German Protestant Kirchentag takes place from Wednesday to Sunday in Berlin and Wittenberg, where there will also be several events for LGBTI Christians. The highlight on Thursday will be the visit of former US President Barack Obama, who will perform in front of the Brandenburg Gate together with Chancellor Angela Merkel.In view of the great attention, the Lesbian and Gay Association in Germany wishes “an open and curious church that sees and accepts lesbians, gays and transgender people”, as LSVD spokeswoman Henny Engels announced on Wednesday.However, there are still deficits in the church. For example, parts of the Protestant church committed to “curing” homosexuals. Engels criticized that in the church still “obscure as dangerous Umpolungstherapien” would be offered by member associations of Diakonie. In 2015, the Church, with Michael Diener, even elected an evangelical homo-healer to its highest body, the EKD Council (usa.lgbt reported3), “Overlaps between evangelicals and right-wing populist movements.” Overall, according to Engels, there are , Gender and Family Policy “quite overlap between evangelicals and right-wing populist movements”. The Kirchentags program also picks up on the topic itself with a controversial event. At the podium “Christians in the AfD?” discussed on Thursday next to the Berlin Bishop Markus Dröge and the publicist Dr. Liane Bednarz also Anette Schultner from the “Federation of Christians in the AfD” – a multiple speaker4 on the homophobic “demo for all”.However, Engels also stated that she was convinced that religion and acceptance were compatible. She also recognized the movement within many national churches towards diversity. For example, 19 out of 20 state churches now bless homosexual couples – the only exception being the regional church of Württemberg, which has so far adhered to its homophobic line.At the Kirchentag there are several events for LGBTI (list of events5). As was the case at the Katholikentag6, which took place last year in Leipzig, LGBTI activists set up a “Zentrum Regenbogen” 7 in Berlin.The center offers events on several topics: on Thursday, for example, there will be a coming-out workshop for lesbian girls and women; on Friday, the coming-out will be for men; on Saturday, the Alliance organizes parents, friends and relatives of homosexuals (BEFAH) a workshop on “Our children are LGBT”. In addition LGBTI Christians can pray together in the rainbow center and exchange in a café in a relaxed environment.On Saturday also same-sex couples are to be married in the St. Marienkirche. In the run-up, the regional church, which had homosexual couples equaled last year8, had searched for homosexual couples willing to marry (usa.lgbt reported9). (Cw)

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