The media give the impression that the big danger of political violence in Germany comes from the right with marches and demonstrations by Pegida and the rise of the AfD. Marches and voting success, however, are less dangerous to democracy than firebomb attacks by the left on Christian individuals and organisations.

In an assault on press freedom, German pro-life journalist Gunnar Schupelius’s car was destroyed in an arson attack on December 31 for which the ‘Feminist Autonomous Cell’ (‘Feministische Autonome Zelle’ FAZ) claimed responsibility.

Gunnar Schupelius’s Burnt Out BMW

The BMW owned by the Protestant Christian and chief columnist for Berlin tabloid journal ‘B.Z.’ was burned out.

FAZ claimed responsibility for the Berlin attack in a letter posted on the far-left internet platform indymedia.org [since removed]. Schupelius was criticised by FAZ for upholding Christian values and supporting the pro-life movement March of Life.

The feminists claim that Christian charity ‘applies only to those who submit to the concept of heteronormative worldviews’ and that Schupelius was targeted because by expressing biblically based views he served ‘as a spokesman for racists, right-wingers and reactionaries in all fields’.

Their claim described Schupelius as ‘more than a slime bag that embodies the reactionary’. They claim his journalism is ‘propaganda texts [which] are intended to further public opinion towards Christian, patriarchal social order’. They concluded their letter with a clear threat: ‘Gunni, since this is already the second warning, we would strongly recommend that you change your job.’

They revealed the journalist’s home address, stating that he ‘lives there with his children’.

Protestant and Catholic bishops condemned the attack in a joint statement: ‘We are shocked and outraged by the violent attack against the journalist Gunnar Schupelius and about the threats against his family.’ Noting that freedom of expression and human rights are the greatest asset in the country, the bishops said: ‘We strongly condemn all acts of intimidation and violence against dissenters.’

See the source image
Gunnar Schupelius

Schupelius himself has said that he enjoys an exchange of views ‘in the sense of an intellectual debate’. Even when such a debate creates friction at the ‘discussion level’ there is no need for animosity. Unfortunately, the perpetrators left the discussion level far behind with their arson attack.

Regrettably, Schupelius considers freedom of expression in Germany to be endangered: ‘In my opinion, the willingness to deal with dissenting opinions is decreasing, so much so that one has to ask oneself whether there can still be a meaningful public debate at all.’

Leftists claim represent values such as tolerance and the right to express opinions, but Schupelius said: ‘It is really a paradoxical situation. These are people who claim to be fighting for the right thing. This includes tolerance towards dissenters, but they don’t believe in that.’

The Feminist Autonomous Cell do not confine themselves to arson attacks on Christian journalists: they also claim credit for attacking churches and their vehicles.

A few days before the Schupelius attack, on December 27, several activists belonging to FAZ vandalised the independent evangelical church TOS Ministries. Several masked people set on fire a minibus owned by the church and sprayed the entry area of the building with purple paint. Police said the attack resulted in damage amounting to 40,000 euros.

Burnt out TOS Church bus

TOS is a charismatic Protestant church and ministry based in Tübingen, southern Germany. Founded in 1990, since 1997 it has planted 12 churches, five different prayer ministries, four children’s homes in Latin America and a centre for drug rehabilitation in Eastern Europe.

On January 2 FAZ claimed responsibility for the attack in a lengthy online letter published by indymedia [since removed]. The police believe the letter to be genuine.

FAZ explained their motives: ‘While most are recovering from the pre-Christmas consumption frenzy and the days off are happily sitting around a sawn-off and plastic-covered tree, we, a feminist autonomous cell (FAZ), have decided to use this symbolic and pleasantly quiet time to take action.’

The group justified their violence by accusing the church of having anti-feminist and homophobic attitudes, of promoting a patriarchal system and of having a colonialist world-view. The group also mentioned that this was not the first such attack on a TOS church, saying that feminists attacked the Leipzig branch in spring 2018.

Guido Kasch, pastor of TOS Church in Tübingen, said on Facebook: ‘We are shocked by this attack, but unfortunately not surprised in view of the increasingly hostile climate against evangelical Christians. In recent months we have seen aggressive threats against TOS church in Tübingen, especially from the left-wing scene.’

Such attacks are becoming increasing common in Germany. On December 6 four Munich-area churches were daubed with slogans such as ‘Burn the churches down’ and ‘Neither God nor master – destroy the patriarchy’. The damage was estimated at thousands of euros.

During the night of 8 and 9 January, the historic St Elisabeth-Kirche in Berlin-Schöneberg was vandalised with black and white paint, the words ‘Pro Choice’ being sprayed on the Catholic church’s doors.

According to the feminist vandals, the church’s support for the March for Life was unacceptable because it served as platform for ‘fundamentalist, anti-trans, homophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynist, patriarchal and right-wing conservative’ speakers. Further, they called the institution of the church ‘inevitably connected to the patriarchy and thus with an inhumane ideology’.

This is the new reality for the church.


  1. Dear Campbell,

    Thank you for highlighting this. Earlier in the week your post, Religious Liberty Eroded in Switzerland, arrived in my inbox within ten minutes of the latest update from The Observatory for Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe and together they made depressing (but necessary) reading. Your final sentence in the present post,”This is the new reality for the Church”, foreshadows a worsening climate as Satan tries to bring back the old reality of persecution in Europe. I am due to turn 80 in a few weeks, and am presumably not all that long for this world, but I am saddened at the prospect facing my younger Christian brothers and sisters. They will need to draw on reserves of courage and strength that I did not need to use. The promise of Jesus is true: that the gates of hell will not prevail against his church, but the experience of relying on that promise in the fires of persecution can be painfully demanding.

    I wonder whether we in general, in my generation of Christians, have been too complaisant and have acted too much like diplomats rather than prophets, thus not doing enough to prevent the moral deterioration of society and the increase of Satan’s power. It is part of a prophet’s duty to warn about God’s judgment against individual and national sin, and to warn in this way is an expression of loving concern, not of hostility or hatred. I confess that I need to discover exactly what more God would have me do personally in the situation as it is now.

    1. ‘The prospect facing my younger Christian brothers and sisters’ is indeed one which will require courage and faith, but it is no more dire than the prospect faced by Christians in other times, even in our own country, and in other countries today. We should do all we can to prepare young Christians for a life as a despised remnant in an unbelieving society.

      You are right when you point out that when we consider the deterioration of society evident around us we should remember that the church is not free of blame. We have been far too complaisant and have allowed ourselves to be distracted by the world’s agenda and priorities and forgotten that the church’s priority is to do what only the church can do, proclaim and live out the truth of the gospel. When individuals are brought to acknowledge and trust Christ is when lives are truly changed and through them society is changed. The Evangelical revivals of the late 18th and early 18th centuries did more to improve social conditions in Britain than any other movement. For the church to indulge in mere politicing with a religious varnish has little lasting effect.

      1. Agreed. We need to pray and work more strenuously for revival, as Curlew (below) also implies.

  2. You’re right about all this, though I get a little encouragement from the inherent incompatibilities of the various progressive factions. Feminists and transactivists can co-exist only by doublethink, which hopefully will get less sustainable – just as gay activism and Islamophilia are ultimately totally irreconcilable.
    Was positively cheered the other day to read of “Drag Queen Story Hours” being planned in a Muslim-heavy neighbourhood of London, and await developments with interest, though my hunch is they’ll end up cancelled.

    All of us and not just oldies or other non-combatants surely are being called by God to be instant in prayer as never before!

    1. The illogicalities and anti-scientific stance of progressive thought will bring about its downfall eventually; and we can do all we can to bring about that downfall by pointing out its absurdities and dangers.

      Your call to prayer is taken. Why try to struggle on our own when we have One to guide, sustain and use us?

  3. Thank you for this disturbing but important article. May I suggest that the Church accepts some degree of responsibility?
    You will no doubt have heard Justin Welbys remarkable and absurd pronouncement at Lambeth that the “The Church of England is ‘deeply, institutionally’ racist”.

    It appears that this ‘Woke’ thinking is quite commonplace in the Anglican Church.
    Here in Victoria, British Columbia, we have our own Anglican Bishop Logan McMenamie.
    When the dreadful murder of many Muslims took place in Christchurch, NZ the Bishop sent out a letter to all parishes to pray for those murdered and their survivors. A right and proper thing to do.

    A short time later, over 120 Christians were murdered in Sri Lanka. No such letter or call to prayer was issue by McMenamie. As (then) a member of a local parish, I emailed and phoned McMenamie to ask if he would please issue such a letter. I received no reply.

    1. It’s not just the Anglicans, the same accommodation to the viewpoint of the world is common throughout the established churches in the west. Dr Welby’s statements illustrate how similar the elites in the church are to the elites in politics and media, all exhibit the same scorn for the concerns of the people and are quite prepared to label us xenophobes and racists.

      Thank you for the information concerning Logan McMenamie, I was not aware of this.

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