Posts tagged ‘hanover’

July 16, 2010

Bishop’s resignation shifts attention to Protestant abuse

AFTER FOLLOWING THE NEWS stories of the past few months, you might have gained the impression that the Catholic Church is in essence a giant pedophile club. But this perception is unfair – not because it is untrue, but because it insinuates that Catholics have a monopoly on systemic child abuse. In fact, hierarchical religions of all kinds attract pedophiles to their ranks, including the Catholics’ main Central European competitor, Protestantism. A high-level resignation today once more casts a sombre light on what increasingly appears to be organized religion’s “original sin.”…

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June 7, 2010

Does religion make people violent? A sociologist says yes

WE ALL SUSPECT THERE’S a connection between religiosity and violence, but a German criminologist recently decided to find out once and for all. The results of his survey, entitled Religion, Integration and Delinquency Among Young People in Germany, which he published over the weekend, are likely to pour new gasoline on an already raging controversy.

Professor Christian Pfeiffer, a social psychologist and former justice minister in the regional government in Hanover, is currently serving as the director of the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony. After evaluating a survey on religious attitudes and violent behavior conducted among 45,000 students of both genders (including 10,000 from immigrant backgrounds) between the ages of fourteen and sixteen at German schools, Pfeiffer discovered that the more religious young, male Muslim immigrants are, the less well-integrated and more violent they become. He found that “very religious” Muslim immigrant youths were the most violent, at a rate of 23.5 percent…

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April 26, 2010

When Muslims become too secular for comfort

A crucifix in a German classroom

THERE’S AN OLD SAYING that you should be careful what you wish for because you might actually get it. Germany’s ruling conservative Christian Democratic Party got what it thought it wanted in the form of a young, female, independently-minded, and above all Muslim minister of social affairs in the state of Lower Saxony. But now that their dream candidate is starting to talk about actual policy, some party members are starting to feel as if they’re getting a lot more than they bargained for.

38-year-old Aygül Özkan was born toTurkish parents in Hamburg. She studied law and worked for some large-scale telecommunications companies before joining the CDU and running for the Hamburg state parliament in 2008, where she soon assumed major functions for her party. On April 19 of this year…

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February 24, 2010

“In God’s hand”: Bishop Kässmann’s resignation letter

YESTERDAY I WROTE IN detail about the drunk driving arrest on Saturday night of Margot Kässmann, Bishop of the State Church of Hanover and Chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church of Germany. This high office made her – if not the spiritual leader – at least the spokeswoman for twenty-five million main-line German Protestants, i.e. nearly a third of the country’s population. Although the Council gave Kässmann its unanimous support at a late-night teleconference, she nevertheless announced her resignation this afternoon. The following is my translation of her letter to the Council…

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