In 2017, Protestant Christians celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Concerned with the relationship between every Christian and God, the Reformation changed the church and also the world. Luther formulated the new interpretation of the Christian faith thus: “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none.” Therefore, all Christians freely live in God’s unconditional love. Relationships between people are also affected by this belief, since the freedom given is also a responsibility and requires us to love our neighbour. In Luther’s words: “A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant to all, subject to all.” In light of the many who seek refuge from war, persecution and hardship, the issue of neighbourly love becomes tangible. Countless Christians are actively engaged in working for the common good, as the consequence of their faith is solidarity in action. Real and marvellous things are being accomplished, particularly in the area of support for refugees.
At the same time, political solutions are required. The undertaking is enormous and both the options and financial means are limited. Many are concerned about the consequences that migration and integration might have for our society and social cohesion; and the discussions about these issues are greatly polarised. Many are optimistic and welcome refugees, whilst others fear that excessive demands are being placed upon society; some even talk of political failure.
From a Protestant perspective, it is possible for there to be divergent opinions concerning ethical questions. Every Christian is expected to sharpen their conscience through the biblical message, and to find their own position. This statement on the present situation in German society describes some convictions which may be derived from the Christian faith.
Ten convictions regarding refugees and integration from an evangelical perspective