Catholic World News

Religious freedom protects Muslims, too, argues German cardinal

April 27, 2016

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne has right-wing political leaders who oppose Muslim immigration.

The cardinal scoffed at claims by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party that Islam is imcompatible with the German constitution, and rejected the AfD call for a ban on the construction of minarets.

"Whoever says Yes to church towers must also say Yes to minarets," Cardinal Woelki argued. He explained that religious freedom protects all faiths, so that "prayer rooms and mosques are equally protected by our constitution as our churches and chapels." 

Further information:
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - Apr. 28, 2016 7:04 AM ET USA

    It's very sad that this same religious freedom does not apply to Christians in many Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia and even Turkey. It's unfortunate that Muslims in those countries don't believe "Whoever says Yes to minarets must also say Yes to Church towers." Cardinal Woelki might want to read the essay "Realism and Islam" ( that published not long ago. For many Muslims, "tolerance" is synonymous with "weakness." Even a cardinal can be naive.