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Author: Gerhard Czermak


The article outlines the development and most important features of the religious constitutional law of the Federal Republic of Germany, as constituted in the Grundgesetz (the German Costitution) and the decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court. Under the basic principle of neutrality, it constitutes a system of separation with single aspects of cooperation of the state and religious communities. It is also a system of wide freedom and of kindness to religion. Non-religious worldviews are explicitly equated for individuals as well as for religious and non-religious associations. This system is in theory exemplary, but holed by contradictory laws, church-state-treaties and one-sided financial subventions in a huge dimension. The indirect influence of the large Christian churches is remarkable. Christian institutions dominate the social services – with unpleasing consequences for over 1 million employees, who are subject to a special employment law. Meanwhile, low-level discrimination of small religious communities continues.

In: Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte