Anti Fascism

The Council of Austrian Churches Comes Out Against the Extreme Right Freedom Party

This is a guest post by Karl Pfeifer

The Austrian church council (representing the catholic, the evangelic-Lutheran and reformed churches, the Old catholic, the Greek, the Russian, Rumanian, Bulgarian and Serb-orthodox churches, the Anglican, Methodist, Armenian-apostolic, Syrian-orthodox and Copt churches) has published a declaration against the Freedom Party (FPÖ).

The Extreme right FPÖ has put up posters for the elections to European parliament on June 7 saying:

“Our course is clear, Occident in Christian hand, the day of reckoning”

In response, the Council of Churches published a press release stat that stated:

“The Freedom Party is not allowed to capture our Christian religion”

Superintendent Helmut Nausner went on to explain that, in his view, “every country is in God’s hands in any case; and Christians do not speak about a day of reckoning but make peace”. The President of the Council of Churches, the former evangelic-Lutheran bishop Herwig Sturm, declared in evening news bulletin on Austrian radio that the slogan “Occident in Christian hand” is

“an abuse of the Christian religion, and message in complete opposition to Christianity… The emotions which should be raised by this poster have nothing to do with Christianity.”

A broad front of Christian churches rejects the policy of FPÖ to tout around for votes with scare stories about “creeping Islamification in Austria”.