chapter  4
10 Pages

Orthodox Churches in Germany: From Migrant Groups to Permanent Homeland

The first Orthodox parish was founded in Strasbourg in 1946; it belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). Orthodox parishes need to adjust to a specific local legal framework, which seems at first sight not to favour non-recognised religious bodies, in practice both civil authorities and established Churches have expressed a benevolent attitude toward Orthodox groups. A Council of Christian Churches in Strasbourg was launched in March 2002: it gathers representatives from the Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, and Orthodox Churches. Among Orthodox faithful in Strasbourg, one does not only come across descendants of people coming from foreign countries or new immigrants: there are people drawn to the Orthodox Church in the context of spiritual quests, either temporarily or with a lasting anchoring. The life of Orthodox communities in Strasbourg remains under the sign of migration: nothing surprising, when considering that half of the parishes were founded after 1990 for serving the needs of new immigrant groups.