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Religions and social welfare

Charity confessional organisations

Traditionally, a large part of the social action in Germany is carried out by ecclesiastical organisations, the Catholic Caritas and the Lutherian Diakonisches Werk being the most important ones. (...)

Traditionally, a large part of the social action in Germany is carried out by ecclesiastical organisations, the Catholic Caritas and the Lutherian Diakonisches Werk being the most important ones. The Jewish community also has its own organisations of social action such as the Central office of Jewish charity in Germany (Zentralwohlfahrtsstelle der Juden in Deutschland, ZWST).
Therefore, a lot of German social establishments such as hospitals, child care centres, infant schools, rest homes, establishments for the disabled are under the authority of the Church or of an ecclesiastical organisation and benefit at the same time from State support. Whereas generally this State-Church relation is not questioned, it becomes “debatable” when members of a particular religious community get fewer places in social establishments than others and this in spite of the fact that they benefit from State support. Besides, a lot of jobs in the social field are exclusively open to the members of the two biggest Churches, which can cause de facto discrimination for people who do not belong to these Churches when applying for a job in this field

D 20 July 2012    AMatthias Koenig AMiriam Schader

Youth management and voluntary work

The Catholic and Lutheran Churches are very active in youth management outside schools in Germany. The Catholic Youth Union (Bund der katholischen Jugend, BDKJ), the Protestant Youth (...)

The Catholic and Lutheran Churches are very active in youth management outside schools in Germany. The Catholic Youth Union (Bund der katholischen Jugend, BDKJ), the Protestant Youth (Evangelische Jugend) and their member organisations as well as Muslim and Jewish organisations are involved in sport associations and other extracurriculum activities, scout and guide activities, holiday activities and so on. They also integrate the youth as well as children into their religious communities as choir singers or servants or by preparing them to rites of passage (communion, confirmation, bar/bat mitzvah).
Christian organisations also offer a great number of places for young conscientious objectors completing their substitution service in one of their institutions as well as places for the youth working for one year as voluntary social workers in Germany or abroad (voluntary social year/Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr, FSJ; Time Missionar/Missionar auf Zeit, MAZ).

D 20 July 2012    AMatthias Koenig AMiriam Schader

Christian trade-unions

Christian trade-unions, which were created as an alternative to socialist trade-unions, have been working in favour of employee rights since the end of the 19th century. The major part of those (...)

Christian trade-unions, which were created as an alternative to socialist trade-unions, have been working in favour of employee rights since the end of the 19th century. The major part of those Catholic organisations was mostly present within the Catholic working-class, although there were also some Protestant trade-unions. Suppressed by the Nazis or forced to work for the unique national socialist German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront), Christian trade-unions reformed after the creation of the RFA in 1949. In the RDA, independent trade-unions were not accepted. Their confederation (Christlicher Gewerkschaftsbund Deutschlands, CGD) is currently composed of 16 trade-unions and has around 300 000 members.

D 20 July 2012    AMatthias Koenig AMiriam Schader

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