Life in Germany: Lessons in Islam Now Offered

Photo by Gordon Welters for The New York Times

Photo by Gordon Welters for The New York Times

A recent story in The New York Times examined the addition of classes in Islam to some German public schools. The aim of the classes is two-fold: (1) to better integrate Muslims into German society and (2) to counter “the growing influence of radical religious thinking.”

Read the full story here.

Each of the sixteen German states is responsible for its education system and non-compulsory religious study. Islamic study is available in some form in all former West German states and none of the former East German states (which have fewer Muslim immigrants historically).

One teacher took 240 extra hours of training to be one of the first Islamic teachers in Germany’s Hesse state. His reason: “He was motivated by his own ignorance about Islam when confronted with prejudice as he grew up. ‘I wanted to clear this up,’ he said.” His six-year-old students are now third to fifth generation Muslims from as varied places as Afghanistan, Turkey, Morocco, and Albania.

Pray for the four millions Muslims in Germany; they account for five percent of Germany’s population. This summer Global Initiative will sponsor a team of young adults for an exposure trip to Berlin. Pray now for the team’s time in the city as they learn its history and culture and share their stories with Germans and Muslim immigrants.

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