Protestant church to be turned into synagogue

18th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

18 July 2007, Bielefeld, Germany (dpa) - A Protestant church in the northern German city of Bielefeld has been sold to the local Jewish community, who plan to turn it into a synagogue.

18 July 2007

Bielefeld, Germany (dpa) - A Protestant church in the northern German city of Bielefeld has been sold to the local Jewish community, who plan to turn it into a synagogue.

A spokeswoman for the Lutheran Church confirmed Tuesday that representatives of the two religious groups had signed a sales contract on July 6.

She declined to say how much the Jewish community had paid for the Paul Gerhardt Church, which had been occupied for three months until recently by a civic action group opposed to the sale.

A spokesperson for the Jewish community said it had earmarked 2.5 million euros (3.4 million dollars) for the purchase and alterations to the deconsecrated church.

"We're delighted to have found an adequate place nearly 70 years after the pogrom and the destruction of the old synagogue," said the spokesperson, Irith Michelson.

She was referring to the night of November 9-10, 1938, known as Reichskristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, when thousands of Jewish homes, synagogues and other buildings were ransacked and set on fire by the Nazis.

The Jewish community plans to remove Christian symbols from the church by the end of August and complete the renovations to turn the building into a synagogue by summer 2008.

The community decided to buy the church because the present synagogue was getting too small for the growing Jewish community.

DPA

Subject: German news

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