Deutschland und Weltreligionen – Germany and world religions Posted by Sandra Rösner on Feb 16, 2011 in Culture, Language, Traditions
Recently I was talking to my Australian friend and I asked him what he finds interesting about the German culture. He broached the subject religion. He told me that he had noticed a trend of Atheism in the newly formed states of Germany. This trend is grounded in the history of East Germany.
When in 1949 the German Democratic Republic was founded, 92% of its population were Christians. The two largest religious communities were Protestants and Catholics. During the socialistic regime of the GDR, a non-religious conception of the world was propagated and religious believers and churches were repressed. This form of de-christianization seemed to work. In 1964, 68 % of the citizens of the GDR stated that they belonged to a Christian denomination, whereas in 1990, at the time of the reunification, only 25% of the people avowed themselves Christians.
Although religion seems to play a minor role in the newly formed states, in comparison to the old West German states, it does not mean that you would only meet people who do not believe in God. It is true that religion in this part of Germany is a private matter rather than a public one.
Moreover, you can find other religions in Germany nowadays, too. According to my search on the internet, there are about 60 million Christians, 5 million Muslims, 250,000 Buddhists, 200,000 Jews, and 90,000 Hindus living in Germany. About 30,000 people are undenominational and the rest belongs to other religious communities.
Below you can find a very easy text in German, which I wrote to give you the chance to practice your reading skills. In my next post I will give you the English translation and a vocabulary list, so that you check if you got everything right.
Das Christentum, das Judentum, der Hinduismus, der Buddhismus und der Islam gehören zu den Weltreligionen. Jede dieser Religionen hat ihr eigenes Gotteshaus. Christen gehen in die Kirche. Muslime beten in der Moschee. Hindus besuchen den Tempel. Juden treffen sich in der Synagoge. Buddhisten gehen in den Tempel oder in die Pagode.
Die Zehn Gebote sind das Glaubensbekenntnis des Christentums und des Judentums. Die Fünf Säulen des Islams sind die grundlegenden Praktiken des Islams. Die Vier Edlen Wahrheiten und der Edle achtfache Pfad sind das Glaubensbekenntnis des Buddhismus. Der Hinduismus hat kein allgemeingültiges Glaubensbekenntnis.
Jede dieser Religionen hat ebenso ihre eigenen Geistlichen. Der Pfarrer hält Predigten für Christen. Der Rabbi lehrt die religiöse Lehre des Judentums. Der Muezzin ruft alle Muslime zum Gebet. Der Dalai Lama ist der politische und religiöse Führer der tibetischen Buddhisten. Der Brahmane lehrt den Hindus den Veda.
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