German requirement for foreign clergy to come © shutterstock
In the future, foreign clergy such as imams and priests will be required to speak German in Germany. The Bundesrat approved a corresponding ordinance this Friday.
According to the decision, employees of religious communities who mainly perform spiritual tasks should in future have sufficient German language skills (level A2).
For a transitional period of twelve months after the regulation comes into force, simple knowledge (level A1) will be sufficient for the time being. The compulsory German language requirement will also not apply until six months after the rule is promulgated, to give clergy enough time to learn the language. In individual cases, exceptions will also be possible in the future. In addition, clergy do not have to provide proof of their language skills if they are allowed to enter visa-free for longer stays due to their nationality.
There had been much criticism of the plans
Instead, the Greens and the Left called for more efforts to train imams in Germany. For the AfD, the language requirements are too low. The problems with imams from abroad and their possible influence by foreign governments, however, are not solved by the new obligation in the view of many critics.
The Catholic German Bishops' Conference had warned against too great hurdles in the debate about compulsory German citizenship. The requirements should not lead to the fact that the entry of foreign clergy is made impossible in practice.