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President Rivlin welcomes Christian religious leaders from Germany Photo courtesy of Roy Berkovich
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President Rivlin welcomes Christian religious leaders from Germany

19 October 2016

President Rivlin welcomes Christian religious leaders from Germany

(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson) 

 

Among the nearly 6,000 visitors who came to the President’s Open Sukkah today (Wednesday), President Reuven Rivlin welcomed Germany’s ambassador to Israel, Dr. Clemens von Goetze, together with an ecumenical delegation from the Catholic German Bishops’ Conference and the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, who were visiting Israel on an ecumenical pilgrimage to the Holy Land to mark the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation which would be commemorated in 2017.

 

Reinhard Kardinal Marx, President of the German Bishops’ Conference, and Bishop Dr. Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Chairperson of the Council of the EKD who led this first of its kind delegation, told the President that the trip was aimed at highlighting the “common roots of our faith in spite of our separation”.

 

Among the delegation were Dr. Gerhard Feige, Bishop of Magdeburg and president of the Commission for Ecumenical Relations of the German Bishops’ Conference; Annette Kurschus, Praeses of the Evangelical Church in Westphalia and Deputy Chairperson of the Council of the Evangelical Church; Father Dr. Hans Langendörfer SJ, secretary of the German Bishops’ Conference; and Dr. Thies Gundlach, vice president of the Evangelical Church Office.

 

During the meeting, the President spoke with the delegation about the shared historical roots of the Christian and Jewish faiths, and of the importance of dialogue between the all the communities in Israel and further afield.

 

The President then gave the delegation a tour of the Sukkah, and explained, “The Sukkah is a symbol of how we can all come together under one roof in partnership.”