Martin Niemöller Made President at First Meeting of 'Pastors' Emergency League' Hot

Martin Niemöller Made President at First Meeting of 'Pastors' Emergency League'

Martin Niemöller, 1934

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Religious History

Martin Niemöller is elected president at the first meeting of the Pfarrernotbund ("Emergency Covenant of Pastors" or "Pastors' Emergency League"), an organization founded on this date to organize German evangelical theologians, pastors and other church office-holders.

The goal is to fight the introduction of the Aryan Paragraph into the 28 Protestant regional church bodies and the Deutsche Evangelische Kirche (DEK) as well as attempts by Reich Bishop Ludwig Müller and the German Christian movement to merge all German evangelical churches into a single "Reich church."

The "Aryan Paragraph" is a clause limiting membership to Aryans and thus excluding all Jews. Incorporating the Aryan Paragraph into Protestant churches would mean limiting church membership to Aryans and thus denying that Jews can convert to Christianity.

Every pastor who wants to join must sign a statement rejecting the Aryan Paragraph. By the end of this month, 2,036 out of a total of 18,842 Protestant pastors in Germany will have done so. In May, 1934, the pastors involved in with the Pfarrernotbund will organize the Barmen Synod, a more famous example of opposition to anti-Semitism in German Protestant churches.

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