Perceiving and appreciating each other

Discussions, worship services and concerts: 140,000 people attend the German Protestant Church Conference. Even the former American President Barack Obama was there.

dpa - Church Conference

Germany. Flight and migration, solidarity in Germany and Europe, religious pluralism and Reformation: these key issues of co-existence will also be reflected in the German Protestant Church Conference on 24 to 28 May 2017 in Berlin, Potsdam and Wittenberg. On 25 May 2017 the former American President Barack Obama discussed with the Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel the subject of “Designing Committed Democracy – Taking Responsibility at Home and in the World”. Here, the Church Conference in figures.


The organizers expect continuous visitors on all five days of the event. In addition, there will be about 45,000 daily visitors. At the final worship service on the Elbe meadows, before the gates of Wittenberg, up to 200,000 participants are expected. The first worship service visitors will probably arrive the night before and, after a “Night of Lights” celebrated with members of the Taizé brotherhood, sleep under the open sky.


Volunteers will play a part in 2,500 events in all areas of social life. The Church Conference visitors from more than 80 countries are invited to participate in workshops, discussions, simulation games, worship services, concerts, bible studies and a Market of Opportunities.

Please click to enlarge

In 2017

The watchword of the Church Conference is “You see me”. It refers to a passage from the Old Testament: “Thou, God, seeth me ...”. From this realization, Hagar, a desperate young woman on the run, draws hope and strength. The watchword is an invitation to encounter others with open eyes. Not only in young people is the longing for recognition very great; selfies, Facebook and WhatsApp all show this. Many other people also miss the feeling of being truly seen. 


years of the Reformation are being celebrated in 2017. According to tradition, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church on 31 October 1517. The Reformation jubilee will be marked by openness, freedom and ecumenical spirit. It will be observed by a global community ranging from Tierra del Fuego to Finland, and from South Korea to North America. Everyone is welcome at the Protestant Church Conference, regardless of faith, religion or denomination. 


“On the Way to the Church Conference” programmes round off the gathering. On the way to Berlin, it is well worth making intermediate stops in the Luther City of Wittenberg, in Erfurt, Weimar/Jena, Magdeburg, Dessau-Roßlau, Halle/Eisleben and Leipzig. The cities offer six thematically focussed programmes for the Reformation year.

German Protestant Church Conference, 24 to 28 May 2017 in Berlin, Potsdam und Wittenberg