Eighth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Washington, DC USA 2000

Germany Country Report Number 2

Report June 1997 - June 2000

Churches in Germany

June 1997

Because of actual problems (with WTR, protest against the transport of atomic waste, granting church asylum) the protestant Church of Germany / Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland (top organization of all protestant Regional churches) publishes theses about the relationship of a conscientious decision and the law with the conclusion: A conscientious decision is always an individual act with individual consequences; both can not go from the individual to the community of church. These theses were meant to be a final vote, also for further decision in regional churches.

January 1998

The synod of a protestant regional church / Evangelischen Kirche im Rheinland gives a public vote for better control of production and export of armaments.

When the government decided to sell to Turkey one tank as a pattern (for a possible sale of 1000 tanks), this church did not publish another vote.

January 1998

Consultation between the leadership of a protestant regional church / Evangelischen Kirche im Rheinland and groups of the Consular Process: WTR was on the agenda of one workshop and one subject on the final summary. But after the conference the stiring group decided to cancel it, because of lacking legal realization.

In some regional churches the small activities of war tax resisters continue with the expectation of church support and dialog. The dialog often concentrates on the explanation of the basic positions from June 1997.

In the regional church of Bayern it is accepted that, the specialist for consulting conscientious objectors against military service also consults war tax resisters.

Shortly after the beginning of the Kosovo-bombing the votes of the protestant churches tend to: Ultima ratio, with or without military intervention we get guilty.

June 1999

“Steuern zu Pflugscharen” participates as usual in the biannual lay meeting of German protestants (lay meeting). 600 people sign a vote claiming for an effective church support of the legal right to war tax resistance - no feedback. One regional protestant church / Evangelischen Kirche Hessen-Nassau pays for part of the costs.

June 1999

A regional church / Evangelischen Kirche im Rheinland accepted to pay for one participant of the 9th International Conference.

February 2000

Meeting of the peace committee and pastors of all regional churches: WTR is not on the agenda.

From the Roman Catholic Church we hardly know war tax resistors.

Pax Christi has been in contact with us, but concentrates on the education of peace workers and their missions. - In February 2000 one roman-catholic Bishop again votes in public for a war as ‘ultima ratio’.