The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
There are about 500 Protestant teachers of religion, who can only cover about 70 % of schools in Berlin.
The Protestant Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia cannot offer weekly religious instruction at every school in the capital due to financial and human resources reasons.
“We would very much like to offer religious instruction wherever it is desired”, Heike Krohn-Bräuer, spokeswoman for the Protestant Church in the area told news agency Idea.
Even in the future, “there will be a a lack of religious teachers for the Protestant church, which means that not all students who would like to receive religious instruction may be eligible”, she added.
500 PROTESTANT TEACHERS
The spokeswoman emphasized that the means of the members must be handled responsibly. Therefore, religious education can only be offered within the scope of the corresponding possibilities.
In the area of the Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia, there are about 500 Protestant teachers of religion, who can only cover about 70 % of schools in Berlin.
The state of Berlin assumes the cost of a religion teacher to 90%, but only from a certain class size. The minimum size of a group should not average less than eight students.
Since 2012, the number of participants has increased slightly year on year. However, in October 2017, the participation rate dropped from 23.1 to 22.1%.
This has affected many schools, such as the Teltow Primary school in the Berlin , where the average size of the study groups is too small, so that Protestant religion can no longer be taught and only Islamic classes are on the curriculum for the new school year.
“CHILDREN ENCOUNTER RELIGION” PROJECT
According to Krohn-Bräuer, the regional church offers an alternative project in schools where religious education can not be offered.
It is a one-week project called “Children encounter religio”",in which students visit churches, synagogues and other religious sites.
The religious education is not a proper subject in the capital, but a voluntary offer of the churches.
There has been much discussion about the general shortage of teachers in Germany's schools, the worst in three decades, for several weeks.
According to the Teachers' Association, there are nearly 40,000 teachers missing from all over Germany and 10,000 vacancies.