In the course of the policy of détente and the change of power from Ulbricht to Honecker, the political framework conditions in the GDR changed. A new GDR constitution forced the Protestant churches to break away from the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD) and redefine their relationship to the SED state. Concepts such as "church for others" and "church in socialism" were discussed. The 1972 synod was particularly important. In his speech, Heino Falcke spoke of "improved socialism" and attested to the church's responsibility to help shape society. The speech had a considerable impact that extended beyond the 1980s into the Ecumenical Assemblies and the Peaceful Revolution of 1989.
The commemorative event in Erfurt is intended to remember this significant event and to ask what of it is important for the churches in view of today's challenges.
Prelude (Dirk Marschall)
Welcome and introduction (Professor Michael Haspel)
Memories of the situation (retired Provost Dr. Dr. h.c. Heino Falcke)
Christ frees - therefore church for others! (speech as audio document)
Reactions and discussion
Spiritual impulse and evening blessing (Bishop Friedrich Kramer)
Afterwards, there will be an opportunity for further discussion at a small reception.