This news story is part one of a five part series.
March 21, 2010/Hiram, GA – On Friday, five dignitaries from Germany visited Paulding County to speak about a dire situation that has developed in Germany. Germany is about to embark on the 500th anniversary of the Martin Luther reformation. Today, the German culture does not embrace Christian values anymore. The dignitaries stated that they are going to work to ensure that such Christian values are brought back into the German culture, to their youth, to their legislatures, and to their communities.
The event was by invitation only and was hosted by State Rep. Daniel Stout, Representative of Paulding County District 19 and Master of Ceremonies was conducted by Micah Gravely, who works for the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association as a Statewide Grassroots Coordinator.
Some of those in attendance were Georgia Rep. Howard Maxwell of Paulding County District 17, Paulding County Sheriff, Gary Gulledge, Max Woods who is running for Georgia State Attorney General, Mayor of Hiram, Carmen Rollins, Pastor Steve Whipple of the Church at the Ridge, and Pastor Kenny Ott of Fellowship United Methodist Church. There were other members of the county, citizens, as well as some students from Paulding County High School.
The German delegation consisted of:
• Bernd Merz, President of the Foundation Christian Values to Live
• Senior Consistory Udo Hahn, representative of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), a federation of 22 regional Lutheran, Reformed and United Protestant church bodies. He is also on the Board of Directors of Christian Values to Live.
• Professor Dr. Klaus-Dieter Muller is Professor of the Film Academy Babelsberg; former parliamentarian of the state Schleswig-Holstein; Vice President of Christian Values to Live.
• Joachim Puls is CEO of Filmsalz GmbH; SOS Children’s Villages media partner and Co-founder and advisory board member of Christian Values to Live.
• E. Bailey Marks, Jr. is a partner and consultant, The Clapham Institute in Annapolis, Md.
• Friedemann Halbrock, a consultant and management representative of Halbrock Project Organisation; FACES project.
Micah Gravely stated, “He and Friedemann Halbrock began discussions about this issue about eight months ago through emails on this important issue that is affecting Germany.”
A video was presented going back to Nazi Germany and the tyranny of Germany’s past and how Christianity was ingrained into German society afterwards and how those Christian values have nearly disappeared today; mostly with the influence of other religions and societal changes.
Mr. Friedemann stated, “Bringing up Christian values and even speaking the name of Jesus is nearly frowned upon in Germany and most of the churches are empty. However, even when children attend, most of their parents do not even bother to come with them…our churches are empty.”
When asked from a member of the audience of how many are considered Christian, Mr. Friedemann replied, “There are areas in Berlin where forty-percent are Muslim, forty-percent are of other religions or are atheists, and only twenty percent state that they are Christian. About two percent of the German population attend church or get involved.”
In an interview with Bernd Merz, he was asked by the Paulding County Republican Examiner on how they came together with this project, he stated, “Knowing people and having contacts helped bring each other together with this important issue. We are concerned of what is happening with our Christian heritage in our country, our culture, and especially with our youth.”
These delegates hope to change the future of Germany by working with Christian citizens in Paulding County and with some members of the Georgia Assembly and Senate.
The German delegates spent a week in Georgia and also visited with several Georgia legislatures at the Capitol on this issue. Several Georgia legislatures plan to make a trip to Germany to exchange ideas; listen to what is happening in Germany, and how a bridge can be created between our two nations, specifically Georgia as well as Paulding County.
Coming up, part two of this story will delve into the background of the history and anniversary of the Martin Luther Reformation and comments from three Paulding County High School students on their thoughts of this meeting. And later, series three through five will offer an in-depth look at the Christian Values to Live Foundation project.
Disclaimer: The views, comments, commentary, and stories are not the opinions or expressed consent agreement of any member of the Paulding County GOP or its officers unless otherwise noted.