Germany: Congo-Priest Quits Over Racism


A German-Congolese Catholic priest has stepped down from his Bavarian parish, after facing racist abuse and death threats in southern Germany.

Olivier Ndjimbi-Tshiende(66) informed other parishioners about his decision during a church service on Sunday in Zorneding, a small town near Munich in Bavaria. He started preaching in the town in 2012.

“We are shocked and saddened by these [death] threats.” said the parish website in German.

Two local conservative Christian Social Union(CSU) politicians are believed to have verbally abused him by calling him “negro” and other racist slurs.

In October, Tshiende condemned one of the local CSU leaders Sylvia Boher. Boher talked about “invasion by Eritrean refugees from military service”, according to a report filed by BBC.

After Tshiende interposed himself, Boher’s friend, Johann Haindl, whipped out his piece of mind and insulted the priest.

Later, both the party leaders had to resign from their post after being criticised for their racist remarks.

In an open letter, Tshiende censured Boher and CSU’s “brown ideology”(referring to Nazi party’s brown shirts). He requested to take down the image of a church tower and spire from the logo of its newspaper.

Bavaria’s CSU is known be to a coalition ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s Christian Democrats (CDU). The local CSU has earlier criticised Merkel for her “liberal migrant policy” of welcoming more than 1.1 million migrants last year.

Boher took a stance and chastise Merkel in a local newspaper, claiming that “foreign invaders” were invading Bavarian, according to a report filed by France24.

In support of Tshiende, a petition was launched by parishioners to stop him from leaving Zorneding. However, the Catholic Church Archbishopric in Munich has already decided to give him a new post on 1 April.

The archdiocese of Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx stated: “The situation was very burdensome for him, yet he looks back without bitterness at his time in Zorneding.”

According to German media, the priest had earlier faced five death threats. The police is laying out investigation to find any suspect who incites racial abuse against Fr Ndjimbi-Tshiende.

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