“Free farmers” criticize the two big churches: idea.de

Lennewitz (IDEA) – The “Free Farmers” initiative (Lennewitz/Brandenburg) has advised the two major churches to stick to the word of God on agricultural issues instead of spreading political propaganda. This is announced by this interest group of family farming in a press release.

She particularly criticizes the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg. She participated in a campaign for vegan nutrition: “We see it as an expression of spiritual aberration.” The church had called for changes in eating habits to contribute to more climate justice. She had therefore participated in the campaign “Veganuary” (vegan January) to try a vegan diet in January.

Farmers carry out God’s mission

The initiative is also critical of “No food in troughs and tanks”, which the Catholic aid organization Misereor started together with the organization Greenpeace. According to their information, valuable rapeseed and other vegetable oils, as well as grain, ended up in fuels amid an ever-worsening hunger crisis. Millions of tonnes of edible wheat would be fed to pigs and poultry in intensive livestock farming.

In a letter to the president of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Annette Kurschus (Bielefeld), and the president of the (Catholic) German Bishops’ Conference, Georg Bätzing (Limburg), the federal spokesman for “Free Peasants”, Alfons Wolff (Hohenthurm /Sachsen-Anhalt), farmers fulfilled a task from God when they cultivated land and kept animals in reverence for creation. He goes on to say: “In the face of social hostilities, our peasant families do not need ideological teaching from the churches, but rather theological support.”

Sheep parables: No possibility of vegan interpretations

When Jesus compares his relationship with people to a shepherd’s relationship with his sheep in the Gospel of John, according to the 61-year-old Wolff, it is the highest imaginable justification for precisely the agriculture that is predominantly practiced in Germany: “It leaves no room for vegan interpretations.” In Jesus’ time, shepherds cared for their animals responsibly and produced meat and wool.

From Psalm 23 to the Christmas story, the Bible is full of statements where animal husbandry is a natural and highly respected part of human culture. Therefore, the “free farmers” protested “against anti-agricultural tendencies in the two churches”. Wolff: “This cheap appeal to the mainstream has nothing to do with our Christian faith.”

“Freie Bauern” emerged from the Brandenburg Farmers’ Association in 2019. They represent the interests of 1,380 farmers throughout Germany.

Oldenburg: Industrial animal husbandry is harmful to the climate

The spokesman for the Church of Oldenburg, Dirk-Michael Grötzsch, rejected the claims of the “free farmers”. He told the evangelical news agency IDEA: “In addition to many other factors, industrial animal husbandry and its consequences are one of the main causes of the emission of gases harmful to the climate, the global extinction of species and the clearing of forests. .” A change in eating habits can therefore contribute to more climate justice.

The “Veganuary” campaign was about trying things, about “approaching the topic of vegan nutrition, about critically examining our diet and its impact on the environment and climate change”. An IDÉ query about the statements of the “free farmers” on EKD remained unanswered at the time of printing.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, there are around 257,000 farms in Germany.

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