Coalition Agreement – When Sport Occupies More Than Religion


The traffic light offered its coalition agreement. Father Nicodemus Schnabel is disturbed by how little space there is for the subject of religion. Now religious communities can show that they are more than just “valuable mediation agencies,” he comments.

From Father Nicodemus Schnabel | Bonn – 26.11.2021

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Felix Neumann had already taken the Traffic Light Coalition’s agreement published on Wednesday with great analytical sobriety and his research on the subject of “religion”. What he already mentioned does not need to be repeated here, but should be supplemented with some additional notes.

It is truly amazing how little the debt factor is taken into account in this comprehensive document. If the religious denominations in Germany lose their relevance, then their global significance is absolutely indisputable. 84% of people profess a religion. Do coalitionists really believe that they will really succeed in the key policy areas of “Europe”, “integration”, “immigration” and “escape” by ignoring the religion factor? That “freedom of religion” is not a central issue in German human rights policy? Was it not at least appropriate to refer to the tried and tested cooperation with churches and religious communities on the topics of “humanitarian assistance”, “civil crisis prevention” and “peacebuilding”?

In general, the whole subject of “religion” is touched only with pointed fingers. In the massive “development cooperation” area, only the sentence is used; “We are strengthening our strengthening of civil society and the important role of unions, political and private institutions and churches, particularly in fragile contexts” (RN 5152f). Here churches are mentioned only in third place, similar to the large topic “Foreign cultural and educational policy”: “We (…) promote programs in European border regions as well as international sports policy and the field of religion and foreign policy” (RN 4247-4249). So it’s not really surprising that the topic “sport” occupies more than twice the space of the topic “church and religious communities”

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And what is written there in dry words makes you sit back and take notice: “Churches and religious communities are an important part of our society and make a valuable contribution to living together and transmitting values ​​in the community. We value and respect their work” (RN 3717-3719).

That’s it? Are not all religious denominations more concerned with the great human question “What do I wish?” Officer? Is this not a constant reminder to all those involved in politics that people do not live on bread alone? That people also have spiritual resources that cannot be politically contained, but that could change the world?

Perhaps this is the great opportunity for the next legislative period: religious communities can demonstrate once again that they are more than just valuable agencies, and perhaps politics can rediscover this. In this sense: more curiosity about each other and daring to talk to each other!

From Father Nicodemus Schnabel


The Benedictine monk of Jerusalem Nicodemus Schnabel OSB is the Latin Patriarchal Vicar for All Immigrants and Asylum-seekers and Director of the Jerusalem Institute of the Gorse Society (JIGG).


Viewpoint reflects the opinion of the author only.

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