Christians of African Origin in Germany
1 Introduction The Ecclesial Environment For many years the ecclesiastical landscape in continental Europe was deter- mined by the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church. It seemed as if these two church-groups were the only players on the stage; other denomina- tions hardly mattered. Even where others existed, they were ignored and mar- ginalized. Due to the change the two large churches are undergoing and which expresses itself in the altered role of the churches in society, as well as in their decreasing membership, and due to the increasing appearance of "churches and congrega- tions of other languages or origins"1, a change of mind has taken place over the past 10 years. The "smaller" denominations are gradually moving towards the focus of attention of the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches. These two major churches are beginning to take leave of their "monocultural way of thin- king" 2 and are now aware that other denominations, of local or foreign prove- nance, have become a firm part of the ecclesiastical landscape as well as an ecumenical challenge at the beginning of the 21st century. They cannot be met with arrogance, pride or ignorance but only with the certainty of pursuing com- mon aims and on the condition that one can learn from the other. The arrogance of the established churches may express itself more strongly or more faintly, depending on the country of origin and the theological conviction of the denomination concerned. Among the "churches and congregations of other languages...
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