The Protestant Reich Church


The Protestant Reich Church was formed by Adolf Hitler in 1933, by merging 28 regional churches into one church. The founding of the church was the result of work by the German Christians, who had gained a large majority at the 1933 church elections.It was based on Nazi ideas of creating a “positive Christianity”, namely purifying Christianity of any Jewish elements including even the Old Testament, an idea which had existed in a small minority of Christian groups since the time of Marcion of Sinope, but the Protestant Reich Church did so for racial more than theological reasons. Ludwig Müller was elected “Reich Bishop”.
Although initially supported by the regime, the Nazis eventually lost interest in the experiment after it failed to supplant or absorb traditional Christianity. After 1937, relations between the Reich Church and the Nazi government began to sour.

The German Christian (Deutsche Christen) group was formed in 1932 and led by Ludwig Müller. The group were supportive of the Nazi ideas about race. They issued public statements that those Christians in Germany who had Jewish ancestors “remain Christians in a New Testament sense, but are not German Christians.” Also they supported the call from the Nazi party platform for a “positive Christianity” that does not stress human sinfulness. Some went so far as to call for removal of the “Jewish” Old Testament from the Bible. The group wanted to form a Reich Church which would bring together all Protestants in Germany. Their symbol was a traditional Christian cross with a swastika in the middle and the group’s German initials “D” and “C”. The Nazis found the group useful during their initial consolidation of power, it was claimed and remembered as a fact that the Jews had killed Christ, thus appealing to and actively encouraging anti-Semitic sentiment among Christians in Germany. The Nazis found the group useful during their initial consolidation of power, but removed most of its leaders from their posts shortly afterwards; from about 1935 it ceased being a significant factor.


Is there a question or a point coming, or did I miss it?


Scott is BACK!

We missed you around here.


Not as much as I missed being around here. Thanks for the generous welcome though. :slight_smile:


As a Catholic, I think we would do well to let the Protestants off on this one. Lots of things happened during the devils’ dance of that era, and I think we need to let them go.


Well, hang on here.

On the 1st page, I see a couple of threads regarding Hitler’s pope and the notion that Pope Benedict XVI was a Nazi.

A factual correction seems to be in order.

It should be noted that one reason the Nazis waited to propose their Reich church was they hoped the Lutheran church would be it, given Luther’s “On the Jews and Their Lies” pamphlet which was basically a blueprint for Kristallnacht.

Many more people have heard the “Hitler’s Pope” calumny than have heard about the German Protestants during the Third Reich. Basic fairness should require this story be discussed as well.


Moved here as this is neither apologetic nor Catholic.


I agree. I hope this also means we forgive them.

I am still reeling from cant about Hitler being a Catholic: not an obscure reference here but a cheap and easy talk to bash Catholicism today in England. I had to live a long time before I hear that rubbish.

All that said, I would suggest that a wikipedia article is no place to start a serious discussion at all.

Sources, please.


Agreed. The problems Wikipedia it is as much a compilation of opinions as it is of facts


I’m confused. I guess the original poster was complaining about Wikipedia’s treatment of the Catholic Church. Then a moderator came in and said the thread was moved, which I don’t understand. Still, I share with the OP the distaste for the “Hitler was a Catholic” stuff. (He was raised in a Catholic family, but was as pagan as pagan gets.)


The thread was moved because it was started in the Apologetics section, which is reserved for things which explain Catholicism. This thread does not, so it was moved to the forum that best fit its subject profile, which is non-Catholic religion.


Yeah, it reminds me of an old joke:
Q: If you’re born in a Christian family, does that make you a Christian?
A: Only if being born in a garage makes you a car…


Could you give us the rabbit with a pancake for old times sake? :bowdown2:


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