The free-religious community in Offenbach has been a part of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) since the 1920s. Besides our connection with the international IARF community, a significant concern is promoting dialogue, cooperation, and the further development of religious life among diverse religions and worldviews. Below, we present a few of the projects and activities of our community:
Held twice a month, Café International provides individuals of all backgrounds a space to meet, exchange ideas, and receive assistance with everyday life. Volunteers aid newcomers to the city, while joint excursions featuring language guides and an educational program for children showcase how living together can be simplified despite language and cultural barriers. Café International evolved from Café Hallo, an initiative launched in April 2022 for refugees from Ukraine.
Circle of Religions
Our free-religious community in Offenbach is a co-founder of this group, which has organized several “Days of Religions”. During this event, various religious communities present themselves in public spaces and schools, addressing questions such as: How does your religion relate to the diversity of sexual orientations and identities? What are your views on abortion? etc. Annually, we also coordinate a “Prayer of Religions” where each religious community delves into its religious practices before discussing a common topic.
We offer church asylum or shelter to those persecuted for political, religious, or inhumane reasons. In light of the influx of refugees from Syria, Ukraine, and other third-world countries, we strive to provide them a safe haven and aid in their integration into our society.
Our free-religious community in Offenbach and its gGmbH now operate three kindergartens. Here, we foster children from a multitude of cultures and religions. In these kindergartens, we run a program for school beginners, teaching them about various religions and the importance of respectful coexistence.
Festival of Women
Every two years, we organize a festival dedicated to the persistent unequal treatment of women and men across all walks of life. In conjunction with this, we hold a panel discussion on “Women in Religion” and a consecration hour that critically addresses this topic. All proceeds are donated to the women’s shelter in Offenbach.
About the Free-Religious Community Offenbach
The Free-Religious Community Offenbach, established on March 9, 1845, is one of the earliest and largest free-religious communities in Germany, with around 1,150 members. As a liberal religious community, we encompass a spectrum of beliefs, from religious humanists to rationalistic pantheists and dogma-free Christians. We encourage each member to form their own faith, fostering freedom of thought, faith, and conscience without strict adherence to holy scriptures or universally accepted doctrines.
The community was founded by individuals active in education, social care, and economic life, who were interested in religious-rationalist reform and political-democratic changes. Today, we continue to uphold these ideals, seeking co-determination in both church and state matters, championing social justice, equal rights, and educational opportunities for all. Despite the significant societal changes since our establishment, our guiding principles remain grounded in a dogma-free religion and a deep sense of unity in the spirit of humanity.
The Free-Religious Community Offenbach is part of the Bund Freireligiöser Gemeinden Deutschlands and is connected globally through the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) and the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF). Despite our widespread connections, we maintain our independence, primarily serving the city and county of Offenbach but reaching far beyond.
Our community center, located in the city center, serves as a hub for a range of activities, including Sunday celebrations, lectures, discussions, festivals, group activities, rites of passage, and social care services. In an ever-evolving world, we continue to adapt our statements, work methods, and community life while preserving our foundational faith and principles.