Martin Michaelis, pastor from Quedlinburg in Saxony-Anhalt, here on October 31, 2022 in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
Image: dpa

A Protestant pastor has announced that he will run for the AfD in the local elections in Quedlinburg as a non-party. The Evangelical Church in Central Germany has now removed him from his pastorate.

Dhe Evangelical Church in Central Germany (EKM) has removed Pastor Martin Michaelis from his parish office in Gatersleben. Michaelis had announced that he would run as a non-party candidate for the AfD in the local elections in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt. This is in contrast to the clear rejection of the AfD positions by the EKM, it was said on Monday.

“Although it is in the interest of the church that pastors also get involved politically, this does not apply to involvement in parties that take constitutionally questionable positions,” said Human Resources Department head Michael Lehmann. With his candidacy, Pastor Martin Michaelis supported the ideas of the AfD.

Until a few years ago, Michaelis was at the head of the Thuringian Pastors' Association and the general pastoral representation of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD). However, he lost these positions after appearing at lateral thinker demonstrations during the corona pandemic and was also transferred to another community.

Michaelis sharply criticized the church leadership. When asked, he said this was outside the law. There is no valid theological justification for the decision. These are free elections and his candidacy should not be interpreted to his disadvantage. Talks should not be refused with the AfD either. He believes that the fact that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution classifies the party in Saxony-Anhalt as a confirmed right-wing extremist movement is a transparent maneuver. Politically, his main concern in Quedlinburg is issues of monument protection.