Senior Project Advisor
Protestant churches, Nazi Germany
"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves ... Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience."
This passage in Romans highlights the struggle many have faced over the centuries regarding the relationship between church and state. While most Christians believe that God has commanded them to obey the laws of their state, they do not know what to do if the law contradicts Biblical teachings. The Protestant churches within Germany faced this problem in the early twentieth century. They did not know whether to submit to the ruling legal authorities or stand up for the morals and beliefs that the church espoused. This moral dilemma led many to reconcile their beliefs with the Nazi laws, while others adamantly rejected government policies in order to stay true to their beliefs.
Story, Jenisa, "Protestant Dissent in Nazi Germany: The Confessing Church Struggle with Hitler's Government" (2001). WWU Honors Program Senior Projects. 348.
student projects; term papers
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