The Oriental Christians
Many oriental Christians emigrated to Germany from the Middle East. Today, an estimated 650,000 members of various Middle Eastern churches live in Germany, who have not only adopted democracy, with all its freedoms and obligations, but also lead an exemplary life. Accordingly, many consider themselves German citizens with an oriental-Christian faith, who belong to a community based on values that not only tolerate diversity, but consider it an enrichment
One of the main goals of the Central Council of Oriental Christians in Germany is to foster a respectful relationship with religions, traditions and cultures based on the values of charity, tolerance and above all open, objective and critical dialogue..
In doing so, we Oriental Christians consider democracy, with all its rights and duties, to be a form of government that gives people equal opportunities, regardless of their faith, origin or culture. The integration into this value system is an essential part of our duties. For us, integration means participating in a society characterized by diversity.
Empowerment of Christians in the Middle East
We advocate that similar rights are also granted in the countries of origin. In particular, the right of freedom of religion and changing religion, freedom of opinion and equality between men and women are fundamental to us.
Social tasks in Germany
We consider it our duty to oppose the division of society by extremists and populists of all kinds. Especially we, who have always been bridge builders between the Orient and the Occident, can play an important role here. The focus is especially on the relationship between the individual and patriarchal authoritarian structures which, legitimized by religion, lead to parallel societies. This influence is strengthened in Germany by the influx of people from Middle Eastern regions, who have yet to internalize basic democratic values. We cannot and will not accept the deviation from democratic values.
Most German-Oriental Christians have, either personally or through previous generations, experienced religious and cultural intolerance and have developed a corresponding sensitivity, which allows them to recognize dangers very early that could lead to the restriction of many freedoms.
A lively church diversity allows room for new ideas and promotes tolerance. This was not always the case in the past. Even in the Germany of the 1960s, the two large churches were not happy to see Protestant and Catholic Christians cooperating in an ecumenism. A similar situation existed or still exists among members of the various ancient oriental and Byzantine religious communities. In Germany, especially a young generation is watching such developments carefully.
The executive bodies of the Central Council of Oriental Christians define themselves on the basis of common Christian values and the associated diversity of Christian faith. Belonging to a church is important, but is arched over by the belief in a common Christian God. Only in this way is it possible to conduct a reliable discourse with other religions and also with politics.
Promoting women's rights
The value of women in patriarchal structures is, often religiously legitimized, far away from what we consider equality between men and women in modern societies. Reduced to traditional functions, such as the role of mother, sister and wife, whose "purity" defines the honor of the clan, she is discriminated as the weakest member of a society, often abused in war contexts to humiliate and weaken opponents. This is exactly what the IS did, for example, during its raids in Iraq and Syria, when it kidnapped thousands of Yezidi and Christian women and handed them over to its henchmen to satisfy their sexual needs. We also see this form of dehumanization in Germany in a weakened form, for example when it comes to honor killings or when women are openly sexually harassed.
Based on the symbolic wisdom of the figure "Athena" from the Greek mythology, which is synonymous with the female being that is more than just the mother, wife or sister, the assosiation "Council of Athena e.V." was founded. By women, for women.
How do we achieve our goals?
TV reports, radio broadcasts, videos, newspaper articles, interviews
Visit and informal exchange with politicians at all levels
Participation and organization of lectures, panel discussions and workshops
Participation and organization of events such as church services with the representatives of different Christian denominations
How are we financed?
We finance ourselves almost solely through donations and membership fees. Often we have to flip every cent over twice. Without the countless volunteers our work would not be possible. Even the board members of the association have been exclusively volunteers in recent years and have invested part of their private income in projects that are important for the whole country. They did it with pleasure because it is about our new and old homeland
How you can support us
If you would like to support our goals, we are happy about every small donation you give. As we are recognized as a non-profit association, we can also issue a donation receipt. For this purpose, please indicate your address on the bank transfer
You can also download our brochure with transfer voucher for the bank via our download portal.