Union of Evangelical Free Churches in Germany

Welcome to the German Baptist Union

The Union of Evangelical Free Churches was founded in 1942 as an affiliation between the German Baptist Union and a coalition of churches of the Brethren movement. After World War II the Union was divided as a result of the division of Germany and the construction of the Berlin Wall. After the German reunification the Union was reunited in 1991. Today, the Union of Evangelical Free Churches consists of about 680 Baptist and 130 Brethren congregations with 82,000 members.

The hour of birth of the Baptist movement in Germany was April 23rd 1834, when Johann Gerhard Oncken founded the first German Baptist church in Hamburg. The strife to evangelize is a constituent characteristic of German Baptists from the beginning. One of Oncken's famous statements underlines this: "Every Baptist a missionary!" At the same time another characteristic is the effort for religious freedom. Already the first church had to resist state repression. But Baptists not only take a stand for their own religious freedom. Julius Köbner, another founding father of German Baptists, in 1848 phrased it this way: "We claim it [religious freedom] to absolutely the same extent for everybody, no matter if the person is a Christian, a Jew, a Mohammedan or whatever else."

Bringing the good message of Christ to people and at the same time being committed to free religious practice is typical for Baptists in Germany still today. For instance, together with other free churches the Union of Evangelical Free Churches supports the fight against the prosecution of Christians.

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