From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Islam in Germany on the rise

Date 08 Apr 2000 02:11:10

April 8, 2000
Adventist Press Service (APD)
Christian B. Schaeffler, Editor-in-chief
Fax +41-61-261 61 18
CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland

Islam in Germany on the rise: More than three 
million Muslims, one in ten holds a German 

Soest, Germany.    The number of Muslims in 
Germany has risen above the three-million-mark, it 
numbers now 3,040,000. Most of them are Turkish, 
but one in ten holds a German passport. Only 
11,000 are German by descent; the others have 
acquired the citizenship.

According to a survey by the "Central Institute 
Islam Archives" in Soest, more than 800,000 
Muslims in Germany are minors. The desire to have 
Islamic Religious Education (RE) in public schools 
is getting stronger. Nearly 98 per cent of all 
Muslims are in favour of such a subject; the 
figure has risen by 14 per cent in the last three 

In addition, they want to keep up Islamic 
instruction in Koran schools connected with 
mosques and prayer houses. Several of the 16 
German federal states  responsible for education 
- are considering the introduction of Islamic 
education in schools alongside the Christian 
subject. The protestant and catholic churches 
would not oppose such a move, as long as Islam is 
taught in German and in keeping with the official 
guidelines for religious education.

According to the survey, the religious life of 
Muslims in Germany is intensifying. The number of 
places of worship has nearly trebled in the last 
three years. In 1997, there were 26 mosques; today 
there are 66. 30 more are being built.

In addition there are 2,200 prayer houses  each 
equipped with a Koran school. About 56,000 Muslim 
children attend Islamic instruction at these 
schools, about seven per cent of all minors. Two 
thirds of all Muslims in Germany regard religious 
dialogue with Christians as very important. [A 
contribution of the Evangelical News Agency 
"idea"; Reporter: Wolfgang Polzer]

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