Page 9, 4th June 1937

4th June 1937
Page 9
Page 9, 4th June 1937 — NAZIS TURN ON PROTESTANTS

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Hitler Becomes " The Messiah"

From Our German Correspondent Persecution of the confessional church in Germany seems now to have started in earnest. The confessional church represents the Christian elements of German Protestantism which the Nazis find as difficult to eliminate as they do the Catholic faith.

The so-called " free elections" of a new National Synod which Hitler promised in February have not yet taken place and it is thought that if they ever do it will not be for a considerable time.

German pastors are no longer permitted free speech. Proposed talks and sermons have to be submitted to the secret police censor before being uttered in public. This is not yet an established law but it is in fact widely practised and has been the cause of several church meetings being stopped by the police.

In opposition to the confessional church is the German Christian Movement, which hopes to gain power by the most insidious methods, favourite among which is the setting up of Hitler as the San of God.

Hitler the God

Thus the confessional church has just succeeded in publishing a pamphlet in which it is alleged that many striking declarations of the Christian Movement include: " God has not revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, but in Adolf Hitler" (Pastor Engelke); " The Holy Ghost is the voice of our blood, the spirit which is alive in the marching of the brown battalions. The Kingdom of God is the German Reich" (Pastor Beckemeyer1; " The wine of communion is the symbol of the eternally pulsating blood, the bread of communion is the fruit of the German soil" (Reich Bishop Muller).

Pastors who are known to belong to the Pastor& Emergency League and to the Confessional Church receive frequent visits from the secret police. Their correspondence as well as their telephone calls are watched, and in many cases their typewriters and duplicating machines have been confiscated.

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