The Salvation Army in Germany

TDie Heilsarmeehe persistent efforts of Staff-Captain Fritz Schaaff brought the work of The Salvation Army into Germany in 1886. A German-American immigrant, Fritz was saved in New York City, then became a Salvation Army officer (pastor). He was sent by The Salvation Army to serve in Switzerland but couldn't resist crossing the border into his vaterland to sell the Swiss Der Kriegsruf (The War Cry).

Die Heilsarmee (The Salvation Army) began operations in Stuttgart; by the next year it had its own version of Der Kriegsruf and was registered as a limited company in Berlin. In 1967, it was recognized legally as a church and public corporation. The Salvation Army's Germany Territory was renamed the Germany and Lithuania Territory in 2005; the work of the Isganymo Armija began in Lithuania in 1998.

Die Heilsarmee is growing, particularly through young adults raised in a "post-Christian" culture...

The territory has more than 90 officers, 1,000 soldiers, 400 adherents and 70 junior soldiers attending 44 corps and five outposts. Die Heilsarmee runs 40 institutions (i.e., various types of residences, rehabilitation centers, social services, cafés) and employs more than 730 people.

Die Heilsarmee is growing, particularly through young adults raised in a "post-Christian" culture, and in spite of a law that allocates a portion of income taxes paid by German citizens to one of two "state religions"-Lutheran or Roman Catholic-regardless of church attendance.

Last year officer training resumed in the territory after a gap of 20 years; cadets had been attending the now-closed European School for Officer Training in Switzerland. Cadets attend Bible study courses at an evangelical college in Essen, then are trained in Salvation Army distinctives and practical services.

Two years ago the territory held its largest ever evangelism effort in conjunction with evangelical churches for the World Cup soccer games in Germany. Concurrently, it hosted The Salvation Army's first-ever International Sports Ministries Conference. Since then sport ministries have been key to German corps growth.

A charter member of the European Union (1999), Germany is slightly smaller than Montana with a population of more than 82.3 million. As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation, Germany is key to the continent's economic, political and defense organizations.

Germany was immersed in two devastating world wars in the first half of the 20th century, which left the country fragmented and occupied by the U.S., United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The decline of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification in 1990; Die Heilsarmee began its work in economically depressed eastern Germany almost immediately.

Visit the Salvation Army Germany & Lithuania Territory website: http://www.heilsarmee-ost.de/index.html

Source: The Salvation Army Year Book and the Central Intelligence Agency

 

 


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