Press release of the initiative "Keep the church(es) in the village" from 25 September 2022

"We put up a cross."

Before the feared eviction of the climate protection village Lützerath, activists of the initiative "Die Kirche(n) im Dorf lassen" (Leave the church(s) in the village) step in front of the public with this confession:

"One of us is accused because he/she was present at a cross erection in the opencast mining apron. One of very many. We stand in solidarity against this strategy of RWE and the judiciary to single out individuals in order to intimidate and divide the group. Our answer: "We all put up a cross." A good 40 people confess this on a poster with their faces and names.

The occasion is an indictment by the public prosecutor's office in Mönchengladbach for trespassing. The re-erection of the so-called Bonhoeffer Cross on May 22 of this year - first erected in the fall of 2021 as part of a church service entitled "Falling into the spokes of the wheel" - was, like all church services, put online as a video by the initiative. This was used by the police to identify an individual and as the basis for their charges.

Many times the initiative has erected yellow wooden crosses in the open pit mining apron as a demonstrative sign against climate and village destroying lignite mining by RWE, e.g. on the site of the Immerather Cathedral, which was destroyed in 2018, and on the ground of the residential buildings in Lützerath, which will be demolished by RWE in 2021.

"It is incomprehensible that we should have disturbed any peace here," said Dr. Gudula Frieling, a theologian from Dortmund, Germany. "We have erected the ancient symbol of suffering and Christian hope in the face of this massive and ruthless destruction of the basis of all our lives. The hope that comes from Jesus Christ always stands for peace. To fuel climate change, on the other hand, is to accept the suffering and death of millions of people. In Lützerath, RWE is committing global trespass - even the UN Secretary General calls the flooding of a third of Pakistan a climate massacre!"

The initiative does not understand why justice and police stoop to enforce the protection of domestic peace for the profit interests of a corporation acting irresponsibly on the climate issue - and to place it above the fundamental right to religious freedom. Especially since the cross obviously does not bother anyone: it has not been touched by RWE since it was erected in May.

Dr. Anselm Meyer-Antz, also active in the initiative, expresses a different thought: "Apparently our small and fragile crosses are more than helpless symbols in the fight against the energy giant after all."


Press contact:

Dr. Anselm Meyer-Antz, 0172 9674245,


The poster in high resolution:

Plakat "Wir haben ein Kreuz aufgestellt"
plakat druck.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 6.6 MB