Germany: Pastor fired from Evangelical church over his AfD candidacy

By John Cody
3 Min Read

A pastor known for his opposition to coronavirus measures has been stripped of his pastorate by the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD) after running for office with the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Quedlinburg. 

“Although it is in the interest of the church that pastors also get involved politically, this does not apply to involvement in parties that take constitutionally questionable positions,” announced the Evangelical Church in Central Germany (EKM) on Monday.

The removal of Martin Michaels, a theologian, from his role as a pastor is the latest sign that the major Christian religious groups are gearing up to fight the AfD at nearly every level. The EKD’s administration warned that his candidacy is not compatible with the office of pastor.

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Last week, the EDK joined the Together for Democracy campaign with 50 other left-wing and religious organizations. For example, the Together for Democracy campaign also includes the Germans Bishops’ Conference, Greenpeace, and the German Trade Union Confederation.

“Together, we defend our democracy and everyone who lives here against the attacks of the extreme right,” the association wrote on its website. 

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Notably, a number of left-wing politicians, along with leading NGOs, have called for an outright ban on the second most popular party in the country, raising questions about whether they actually support democracy or whether this only applies to the parties they favor.

President of the EKD Anna-Nicole Heinrich added: “We cannot behave neutrally when people are excluded, despised, persecuted or threatened.”

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Michaelis, the fired pastor, previously ran on AfD’s list in the city council election but as unaffiliated. He was outspoken during the Covid-19 era pandemic by criticizing church leadership, including for its statement in 2021 that receiving a Covid-19 vaccine was “an expression of active Christian charity.”

He participated in a demonstration against the government’s Covid-19 measures, which have as of late come under renewed scrutiny due to civil rights abuses and discrimination against people who refused the vaccine, which in the end, did not reduce transmission rates as initially advertised.

Newly released confidential protocols show that Germany’s public health agency (RKI) was aware that “lockdowns cause more harm than good” and also that evidence for “making masks mandatory was lacking.” The groundbreaking news has now made its way into the international media.

As a result of his activism, Michaelis was transferred from Quedlinburg to nearby Gatersleben, where he has served as a pastor until his dismissal by the Evangelical church this week.

The news comes after Remix News reported this week that a local AfD politician was denied medical treatment by his general practitioner in Baden-Württemberg due to his political activity. The doctor said that he could not treat him because he did not agree with his politics.

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