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Religious policy and religious dialogue

Religious Policy and Religious Dialogue


The freedom of committing to a religion, or rejecting it, is.... a core component of human dignity. Without religious freedom, there is no true freedom.

Volker Kauder, German Politician and Lawyer

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At a glance

  • Freedom of religion is an important constitutional right. Together with the idea of human dignity, freedom of thought and freedom of opinion, it forms the beating heart of human rights.
  • The basic prerequisite for exercising religious freedom is an active religious policy. It creates the framework conditions for the development of religions and world views.
  • Secularisation, pluralisation and individualisation are changing Europe’s religious landscape: but that does not mean religious policy is becoming less relevant. On the contrary – its issues are considered to be increasingly important.
  • We contribute to the development of concepts and perspectives for a modern religious policy and promote religious policy networking and religious dialogue through platforms and discussion forums.
  • Internationally, we are committed to protecting religious minorities and safeguarding the fundamental right of religious freedom in many countries.



1. Religious freedom is a core human right

2. Religious policy Is gaining in importance

3. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung promotes religious-political dialogue

4. Our offers and projects on the topic

5. Publications, events and media contributions on the topic


Religious freedom is a core human right

Religious freedom occupies a high status within our understanding of fundamental values. Together with the idea of human dignity and freedom of thought and expression, it is at the core of human rights. Accordingly, Article 4 of the Basic Law states that the freedom of faith, conscience, religious and ideological beliefs are inviolable.

A key prerequisite for granting religious freedom is an active religious policy, understood as the organisation of intra-societal relationships of various religious and ideological communities as well as their followers and believers among themselves and vis-à-vis the state. Without such religious policy, there is no religious freedom. Religious policy creates the framework conditions for developing religions and ideologies. Each free society depends on them.


Religious policy Is gaining in importance

Central changes in the religious landscape in Germany and Europe – secularisation, pluralisation and individualisation – have set the previous relationship between the state and religious communities in motion. These changes have not led to religious policy losing any of its importance, however. On the contrary, religious policy issues are gaining in significance. Discussions are intensifying on the role of churches in politics and society and Germany’s Christian character. The religious diversity of our country has grown due to globalisation and migration. Previously foreign religious and cultural traditions and symbols challenge and enrich German society and its legal system.

How can the tried and tested cooperative relationship between state and religious communities be adapted to changed framework conditions? How can non-Christian religious communities be integrated into this system? How can the state protect and promote Jewish and Muslim life in Germany? How can clergy and pastors of non-Christian religions be successfully trained and employed in Germany?


The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung promotes religious-political dialogue

With its religious policy work, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung wants to contribute to finding answers to these questions and developing viable concepts and perspectives for a modern religious policy. It promotes religious policy networking and dialogue through platforms and discussion forums. It advocates social debate on the relationship between religion and policy. It discusses legal options for recognising religious communities, shows ways to further develop denominational religious education and discusses the religious sources of voluntary commitment.

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung engages in and promotes religious policy dialogue in its international work, too. Globally, it takes part in creative thinking and debates about the public impact of religion and its political framework. It provides platforms for exchange on the relationship between state and religious communities. It connects religious, social and state actors worldwide, and advocates for the protection of religious minorities and safeguarding of the fundamental right of religious freedom in many countries.

Our offers and projects on the topic

Discussion forums and publication projects

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is involved in several discussion forums and produces multi-part publication projects on current religious and socio-political topics. Especially worthy of mention are the two blog projects “Expert Initiative on Religious Policy” and “”, which addresses religious policy issues.

Expert Initiative Religious Policy


The Expert Initiative Religious Policy (EIR) is an academic-political forum for discussion on religious policy issues. The EIR blog provides a knowledge forum and debate platform on current events and developments in constitutional law, German politics and the emerging common European constitutional space. Based on various expert opinions, the blog makes proposals on how to further develop the religious legal system within the meaning of freedom of religion and ideology.


Learn more about the Expert Initiative Religious Policy

Discussion forum “”


The blog “” sees itself as a discussion forum for political action out of Christian duty. The blog articles are deliberately diverse: They ask, for instance, how the church and politics intend to deal with the most important problems of our time. While also asking us what conclusions we draw from this.


Learn more about the blog “”

Contributions to the Debate on Abortion


The question of the existence and significance of human life is a fundamental Christian concern. In discussions on potential reforms and the liberalization of abortion laws, it is essential that the dignity of unborn life continues to be respected and considered. Current legal consensus protects both the autonomy of the mother and the right to life of the unborn. According to Christian belief, unborn life deserves the same protection and dignity as a person who has been born.


Learn more about the contributions to the debate on abortion

Contributions to the Debate on Assisted Suicide as an Act of Business


The Federal Constitutional Court declared § 217 of the German Criminal Code (StGB) to be invalid in February 2020. Until then, the paragraph had made the business-like promotion of suicide a punishable offence. This decision presents society and politics with the question on how assisted suicide and a desire to die should be dealt with in future. Our debate contributions provide an impetus for thought and discussion.


Learn more about the contributions to the debate on assisted suicide

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Patricia Ehret


Churches and Religious Communities +49 030 26 996 3784 +49 030 26 996 3551

Dr. Andreas Jacobs


Head of Department Social Cohesion +49 (0)30 26996 3744

Richard Ottinger

Richard Ottinger (2021)

International Religious Dialogue (0)30 26996 - 3446

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Publications, events and media contributions on the topic

Our contributions are as wide-ranging and multifaceted as the topic itself!

Whether it's an expert interview, specialist publication or hot debate - click through and you're guaranteed to find the right format for you!

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Publications to the topic

Ukranian nuns IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Ukraine policy in Rome

Italy top, Vatican flop?

Palais des Nations Geneva II

Geneva Barometer

Developments among Geneva-based international organisations from October to December 2023

Junge Christinnen beten

Conflict in the Christian Community in Iraq

Internal conflicts of a millennial community

Italienische Flagge und Kirche des Gesù IMAGO / Zoonar

Church tax in Italian

How do churches and religious communities finance themselves south of the Alps?

Multilateraler Dialog Genf, Genfer Grosswetterlage UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

Geneva Barometer

Developments among Geneva-based international organisations from end-April to mid-July 2023

Urgent debate on Quran burning and key votes at 53rd UN Human Rights Council

Map of the Month 07/2023

Lexikon Eintrag Religion Adobe Stock / TungCheung

No Women’s Rights without Religious Freedom 

The German government is neglecting religious women

Religionen Adobe Stock / VectorMine

Religionsfreiheit – Bedeutung, Recht und globale Herausforderung

Unveräußerliches Menschenrecht und Eckpfeiler einer freien und demokratischen Gesellschaft.

Papst Franziskus wird in einem Rollstuhl geschoben. Reuters / Pavel Mikheyev

The disturbingly many facets of Francis

Ten years ago, Francis was elected pope. An interim assessment of the international role of the Holy See in his pontificate.

Війна і церква. Церковно-релігійна ситуація в Україні 2022 р.

Війна і Церква. Церковно-релігійна ситуація в Україні 2022 р.

Інформаційні матеріали

Die Basilius Kathedrale in Moskau im Winter | © Shepeleva Shepeleva

The Russian Orthodox Church's Disempowerment of Society

Analysis for the Empowerment of the War Enthusiasts

Justitia vor Wolken Flickr / Tim Reckmann

Der Weg zur Ablösung der Staatsleistungen an die Kirchen

Wie die verfassungsrechtliche Pflicht zur Ablösung der Staatsleistungen nach Art. 140 GG i. V. m. Art. 138 Abs. 1 WRV zu erfüllen ist.

Sozialethik konkret Harvepino / Shutterstock

Globalen Krisen gerecht begegnen

Aus der Reihe Sozialethik konkret – Kooperationsprojekt der Katholisch-Sozialen Akademie Franz Hitze Haus, der Akademie Die Wolfsburg und der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

Putin and Patriarch Kirill IMAGO / ITAR-TASS

Putins heiliger Krieg

Wie das russische Staatsoberhaupt seinen Angriff auf die Ukraine rechtfertigt – über religiös aufgeladene Propaganda im Ukraine-Krieg

Skyline von Kiew / finwal

Schisma mit Folgen

Der ukrainische Kirchenkonflikt und seine globalen Auswirkungen

Menschengruppe iStock by Getty Images / Peter Pencil

Gläubige zählen

Zur Problematik der Bestimmung von Religionszugehörigkeiten in Deutschland

Empfang beim Katholikentag in Münster

Digitale Ökumene als Möglichkeit

Der 3. Ökumenische Kirchentag findet vom 13.–16.5.2021 unter dem Motto „Schaut hin" (Mk 6,38) statt

Religionsfreiheit Magicbowls / Pexels; PeopleImages, rclassenlayouts, Madzia71, MarioGuti /, Rumman Amin, Timur Kozmenko / Unsplash

Commitment to religious freedom - yesterday, today, tomorrow

Interviews with political and civil society experts

Streit um den (politischen) Islam Mytho /

Streit um den (politischen) Islam

Anmerkungen zu Begrifflichkeiten und Zuordnungen im Spannungsfeld zwischen Religion und Politik

Dispute between the Macedonian Orthodox Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church The Government of Serbia, National symbols, Flagge Nordmazedoniens © SKopp, neu gezeichnet von Gabbe/wikipedia

Dispute between the Macedonian Orthodox Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church

A Burden on North Macedonia?

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Events on the topic



Sei a Mensch. Für ein Deutschland ohne Antisemitismus
Diskussion und Fotoausstellung



Reizthema Wohnungsbau - was muss jetzt getan werden?
Mit unserer Podiumsdiskussion suchen wir nach Antworten zu den drängenden Fragen des Wohnungsmarktes.

Event Reports on the topic

Event Reports on the topic

"The future belongs to the man of peace"

Perspectives of a Christian Democratic peace policy for our time


Ich werde nicht hassen: Meine Töchter starben, meine Hoffnung lebt weiter

Die Geschichte von Prof. Izzeldin Abuelaish

Empfang anlässlich des 102. Katholikentages in Stuttgart KAS/Gamradt

Leitwort „leben teilen“. Zusammenhalt und Verantwortung angesichts globaler Transformationen

Vertreterinnen und Vertreter aus Politik, Kirche, Wissenschaft, Medien und Gesellschaft diskutierten anlässlich des 102. Katholikentags in Stuttgart

Thomas Rachel MdB, Bundesvorsitzender des Evangelischen Arbeitskreises und Sprecher der CDU/CSU-Fraktion für Kirchen und Religionsgemeinschaften KAS/Christiane Stahr

70 Jahre Evangelischer Arbeitskreis von CDU und CSU: „Auf Gottes Wort hören und dabei den Menschen im...

Zum Jubiläum würdigten Historiker, Politiker und Kirchenvertreter die Geschichte des EAK und diskutierten die Rolle von Religion und Politik

Judentum pixabay

Judentum verstehen - Die hohen Feiertage

Gebet in der Kirche Pixabay

Kirche-on-Demand – Christlicher Glaube im digitalen Raum

Reden wir über Zukunft! Junge Perspektiven auf Thüringen

Hier stehe ich – Mir ist ganz anders (Header)

Hier stehe ich. Mir ist ganz anders.

Das Kreuz mit dem Gewissen.

Teilnehmer*innen des digitalen Kompaktseminar von KAS und Avicenna zum interreligiösen Dialog mit Hermann Gröhe MdB KAS

Das Politikum Religionsdialog: Gemeinsam die Welt verändern

Stipendiatinnen und Stipendiaten des Avicenna Förderwerks und der KAS im Gespräch über den interreligiösen Dialog in Deutschland und der Welt.

Papst Franziskus

Ein sehr persönliches Gespräch über Papst Franziskus und sein Leben

Veranstaltungsbericht: Geht der Kirche der Glaube aus?

„Der Vorwurf der Islamophobie in Deutschland. Gerechtfertigte Kritik oder Blindheit vor der Terrorgef...

Online-Abendveranstaltung mit Prof. Susanne Schröter

Orthodoxe Juden Pixabay - rliessum

"Gott hat zu viel von mir erwartet."

Veranstaltungsbericht zu "Unorthodox"

Suche Frieden durch Dialog

Starke Beteiligung christlicher Kirchenvertreter und Politiker am Empfang auf dem Katholikentag in Münster


Media library

Erststimme #89: Bernhard Felmberg
Militärseelsorge in der Bundeswehr
In dieser Ausgabe sprechen wir mit Bernhard Felmberg, dem evangelischen Militärbischof der Bundeswehr u.a. über Militärseelsorge.
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Erststimme #84: Rücksicht und Respekt
Rücksicht und Respekt - Mit Stellungnahmen von Herbert Reul und Armin Nassehi
Wir sprechen über das Thema Rücksicht und Respekt u.a. mit dem NRW Innenminister Herbert Reul und dem ehemaligen KAS Fellow Prof. Armin Nassehi.
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Erststimme #83: Pastor Christof Rau
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Podcast Erststimme #61
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Anlässlich des dritten Ökumenischen Kirchentages blicken wir mit unserem Video in die Welt und fragen internationale Würdenträger, wie es um die Ökumene bestellt ist.

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