(08.07.2019) CONFERENCE REPORT: Muslim chaplaincy in Europe and North America

Muslim chaplaincy in Europe and North America

Approximately five million Muslims of various ethnic groups live and work in Germany today. Muslims with Turkish origins comprise the largest nationality-based ethnic community. Due to the growth of the Muslim population, the demand for chaplaincy in various sectors, e.g. healthcare and prison, continues to increase. Whether we are talking about individual health and psychological issues of the ‘guest worker’ generation that arrived in 1960–70s or much earlier than the recently arrived refugees, there is clearly a need for social workers and chaplains capable of dealing with different cultural and religious backgrounds. Meanwhile, the deficiency in health and psychological chaplaincy in Germany is remarkable: currently, different Islamic associations, the German government, and church-related institutions offer various forms of Muslim chaplaincy in 119 districts or cities throughout Germany (see figure). Nevertheless, there is still a lack of professional and standardised training for Muslim chaplaincy. In its third term in the year 2014, the German Islam Conference (Deutsche Islam Konferenz – DIK), organised by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, made this a major issue of discussion with Islamic organisations and experts. As a result, different institutions adopted measures and took steps to face current challenges in the field of Muslim chaplaincy in Germany. According to Cemil Sahinöz, full-time chaplains are required to replace the voluntary workers. Therefore, an umbrella organisation shaped by Islamic associations that can monitor Muslim chaplaincy using commonly accepted standards and be held accountable should be established.“ S. 8

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