The Research Centre for Contemporary Church History investigates the specific form of Catholicism in the Soviet Occupation Zone (SBZ)/ German Democratic Republic (DDR). It deals with the "double diaspora situation" of Central and East German Catholics. On the 26th of May 1993 a seminar for contemporary history "for the purpose of an efficient processing of the history of the Catholic Church in the Soviet Occupation Zone (SBZ) and in the German Democratic Republic (DDR)" - as the decision of the Bishops' Conference read - was founded at the Professorship for Church History of the Middle Ages and Modern Times of the then Philosophical-Theological Studies in Erfurt. After having been provided with personnel, premises and financial resources, it officially took up its activities on the 1st of March 1995. The seminar, which was desired by the bishops, promoted and since then has been working successfully, initially did not become part of the University of Erfurt during the integration of the Faculty of Theology in 2003, but remained in (Eastern) episcopal sponsorship. Only on the 1st of January 2007 it became - under the new name "Research Centre for Contemporary Church History at the University of Erfurt" (Forschungsstelle für kirchliche Zeitgeschichte an der Universität Erfurt - FKZE) - as a project with third-party funding part of the Professorship for Church History of the Middle Ages and Modern Times. Since then the FKZE has, in addition to its specific tasks, made a decisive contribution to the plurality of perspectives both within the Faculty of Catholic Theology and in the area of the university's focus on "Religion". The Research Centre cooperates with the branch office of the "Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic" in Erfurt.