In view of the growing number of refugees who are given asylum in the churches, a lively debate took place on this practice during the Easter period. Representatives of both the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) criticized the policies of the churches.
Volker Kauder, who chairs the CDU-CSU coalition in the Bundestag, told the newspaper Welt am Sonntag that he has a problem with the way the churches are handling the refugees. In Germany, he said, one has to respect national law, and even church members have to accept it.
According to data provided by “Asylum in the Churches,” a federal ecumenical working group, there were 414 cases in March involving 611 people taken in by various churches, a significant increase from November 2017, when 350 cases involving 511 people were reported. The churches in Germany grant asylum to refugees when they consider that their lives would be threatened if they were expelled or when they fear that those involved would suffer social or psychological problems as a result. The authorities tolerate the churches granting asylum, although it has no legal basis.