Government officials from the Far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) are welcomed to go to administrations at the June 2019 congress of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) in Dortmund. They will not be welcomed to participate in talks or other dialog occasions, the EKD declared on Wednesday.

The prohibition on AfD speakers at the multiday Kirchentag congress is a part of the battle inside German church organisations on the most proficient method to manage when the party is criticised for dehumanising and anti-democratic statements from others is their role as politically independent institutions.

The EKD’s executive committee said the AfD’s “fluid boundary on right-wing extremism and ties to anti-constitutional networks” in the decision, a church spokesperson said on Wednesday.

“The congress is about listening, but I don’t want to listen to Mr. Gauland,” Leyendecker said, and referred to the leader of the AfD’s parliamentary group.

In the statement, which the AfD made on Twitter, Münz accused Leyendecker favouring the German Social Democrats (SPD): “This doesn’t have anything to do with the ‘church’ anymore. Churchgoers will realize this.”

“I would rather go to church, where I am welcomed as a Christian,” he added to the German Protestant news agency, EPD remarks.

German Catholic Church banned AfD representatives to take part in 2016 congress. But this year the congress saw AfD’s Münz take part in May. Church also cited “democratic necessity” and indulging in all the political parties with currently representing the German Parliament but argued as a specific individual and not as a party.

The Kirchentag happens year that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors for the celebration of faith and to think and discuss the present-day issues. According to the event page, its goal is “not to determine what is right or wrong, but to initiate open and active dialogue.”

Hannah Weber

Hannah Weber  is a seasoned journalist with nearly 10 years experience. While studying journalism at FernUniversität Hagen, Hannah found a passion for finding engaging stories.  As a contributor to Deutch News, Hannah mostly covers human interest pieces.

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