Confessing Church

(redirected from Bekennende Kirche)

Confessing Church

Confessing Church, Ger. Bekennende Kirche, German Protestant movement. It was founded in 1933 by Martin Niemoeller as the Pastors' Emergency League and was systematically opposed to the Nazi-sponsored German Christian Church. The immediate occasion for the opposition was the attempt by the Nazis soon after their rise to power to purge the German Evangelical Church of converted Jews and to make the church subservient to the state. At the Synod of Barmen (May, 1934) the Confessing Church set up an administration and proclaimed itself the true Protestant Church in Germany. After the arrest of many of its ministers the church was forced underground. Eventually the more moderate Lutheran Council replaced it as the most effective opponent to the Nazi regime. After the war Niemoeller and his followers continued as a separate group within the German Evangelical Church. The group is governed by representatives from each territorial church (the Council of Brethren) and its doctrines are based on the Barmen declaration and the Reformation creeds.


See A. C. Cochrane, The Church's Confession under Hitler (1962).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Early on, he appreciated, but also criticized, the Barmen Synod (1934) of the Protestant dissidents, who then developed into the Confessing Church (Bekennende Kirche).
This "confessing" political-ethical approach of applying Barmen to the contemporary situation--as previously in the "Darmstadt Message" from the Council of Brethren of the EKD in 1947--was used by the joint meeting of the Society for Protestant Theology and the Reformed Alliance in February 1984 in its closing statement, entitled "Bekennende Kirche werden" (Becoming a Confessing Church).
En aquellos tiempos, la cristiandad evangelica en Alemania libraba una batalla por su supervivencia: el enfrentamiento entre los asi llamados cristianos alemanes (deutsche Christen), que, al someter el cristianismo a la ideologia del nacionalsocialismo, lo habian falsificado en sus raices, y la Iglesia confesante (Bekennende Kirche).
I was impressed by her poise and stature as she delivered a heartfelt talk on the personality of the quintessential leader of the German anti-Nazi Bekennende Kirche (Confessing Church).
He became a founder of the anti-Nazi Bekennende Kirche (Confessing Church) and was imprisoned in Moabit, Sachsenhausen, and Dachau as Hitler's "personal prisoner" from 1937 to 1945.
It is easy, from the safe vantage point of passing decades and in an atmosphere of freedom, to wage criticism against the Bekennende Kirche -- to see the Barmen Declaration of 1934 as being almost exclusively concerned about the church's own safety and its purity of proclamation.
Duchrow, "Bekennende Kirche und Okumene als Thema der Zukunft", in Konsequenzen: Dietrich Bonhoeffers Kirchenverstandnis heute, E.
Finally, there was an evening tribute to Eberhard Bethge, a student of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was also a major player of the anti-Nazi Confessing Church (Bekennende Kirche) .