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26 Pages

Introduction

ByMaria Hämmerli, Jean-François Mayer

Germany has clearly become a permanent homeland for Churches of Eastern tradition. This chapter is based on many years of observation and interaction with Orthodox churches, both in Germany and in other places. Immigrants usually organised Orthodox church communities on their own. Parishes were founded in populous areas. Statistical data on Orthodox faithful in Germany mostly rely on self-evaluation by representatives of Orthodox churches. The political situation created by Communist rule in Eastern Europe during several decades also had consequences for Orthodox Churches in Germany and elsewhere. From the very beginning, Orthodox Churches in Germany have attempted to be on good terms with the local Catholic and Protestant churches. Furthermore, Orthodox presence in Germany has a theological impact for all Christians. Regarding the Oriental Orthodox Churches, they are in communion with each other and follow their respective different liturgical traditions. Those Churches have organised in Germany, but in recent times have suffered from intra-jurisdictional quarrels.