Religious Life

Even though church and state are separated on principle in Germany, there are many connections in the social sector and in education.

The German population is not very religious; especially young people are barely interested in religion and church. 31% of Germans do not belong to a confession. Compared to the native population, immigrants are often more religious.

The Protestant Church in Bochum

About one third of the German population are Protestants. In Bochum, there are about 150.000 people in almost 30 congregations. Churches that are especially worth seeing are the St. Gertrudiskirche in Wattenscheid, the Propsteikirche and the Christuskirche in the city center of Bochum, as well as the Stiepeler Dorfkirche.

Evangelische Studierendengemeinde

In the Uni-Center, there is a Protestant Congregation especially for students (evangelische Studiengemeinde, ESG). Service and events take place there, and an information center helps foreign students with all sorts of problems. The Studienbegleitprogramm "STUBE Westfalen" is especially interesting for current students. It includes several weekend and day seminars as well as holiday academies for further education concerning development politics. Participation in those events is either free of charge, or available for a small application fee.

To contact the ESG, you can turn to student minister Michael Drees and social worker Thomas Krieger.

Evangelische Studierendengemeinde Bochum
Querenburger Höhe 287
44801 Bochum
Phone 0234/ 702006
Fax 0234/ 702007
E-Mail: mail[at]esg-bochum.de

The Roman Catholic Church in Bochum

Although the Roman Catholic Church has more members than the Protestant church nationwide, the reverse is true for Bochum: there are 110,000 Catholics compared to 150,000 Protestants. The Catholic Church in Bochum belongs to the bishopric (Bistum) of Essen; this is also where the nearest Catholic cathedral is. Churches that are especially worth seeing are the Zisterzienserkloster (a convent) in Stiepel, the Christ-König Kirche in Wiemelhausen, and the Sankt Franziskus Kirche in Riemke. Since the congregations in Bochum are decreasing quickly, there have been discussions about tearing down empty churches. The St. Marienkirche in the city center of Bochum (next to the Bermuda Dreieck) is a prominent example of a church in danger.

For catholic students there is the Katholische Hochschulgemeinde (KHG) in the Uni-Center. In addition to service and events the KOM also offers social and psychological consultation as well as assistance in test situations.

Katholische Hochschulzentrum
Querenburger Höhe 286
44801 Bochum
Phone 0234/ 58845-0
Fax 0234/ 58845-29
E-Mail: Ursula.Sarrazin[at]bistum-essen.de
Internet: KHG Bochum

Koran (Bild: sxc.hu)

The Islamic Congregation

The third strongest denomination in Germany is Muslim. The 3.3 million members of the Islamic congregation live predominantly in western German cities and in Berlin. Islam was brought to Germany primarily by immigrants from Turkey and Yugoslavia.

There is also a big Muslim congregation in the greater Ruhr area and in the city of Bochum. The Islamic congregation in Bochum was founded in 1976, since then over 20 mosques have been built in Bochum. The Ruhr-University has a Prayer Room (NA 04/71) at its disposal where prayer and events regularly take place.
Islamic community in Bochum: http://www.moscheesuche.de/index.php?id=2&action=moscheeliste&loc_id=14634

    Newspaper article about the Prayer Room at the Ruhr-University:
    http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/rubens/pdfs/rubens65.pdf (on p. 5)

The Orthodox Church

The Orthodox Church has approximately 1.2 million followers in Germany, mostly immigrants and their offspring. The Serbian-Orthodox Church is currently predominant, but the Russian-Orthodox Church is gaining more influence.

The commission of Orthodox Churches in Germany (KoKiD) is housed in Bochum. You can find information about the different orthodox congregations and their addresses in Germany on their website (under "Bistümer"). The nearest orthodox congregations are in (St. Georg/Alleestraße - Russian-ortodox),Dortmund (Serbian-orthodox) and in Wuppertal (Russian-orthodox, Rumanian-orthodox, Greek-orthodox and Serbian-orthodox).


Before the Second World War there was a big Jewish congregation of over a thousand members in Bochum. During the National Socialist (Nazi) era the Synagogues in downtown Bochum were destroyed and almost all Jewish citizens of Bochum fled abroad or were murdered in concentration camps.

Starting in 1990 people of the Jewish faith could relocate easily to Germany because of a treaty between the Soviet Republic and Germany. The Jewish congregation has thusly won many new members in recent years and has approximately 150,000 members today.

The Jewish congregation in Bochum-Herne-Hattingen has in the meantime reached 1,000 members and is the second biggest congregation in Westfalen. The foundation for a new synagogue and community center were laid in downtown Bochum in November 2005, it can be found on Castroper Straße next to the Planetarium.

Jüdische Gemeinde (Jewish Congregation) Bochum-Herne-Hattingen
Alte Wittener Straße 13
44803 Bochum
Phone 0234/932579-25
Fax 0234/932579-30
Meditation in the botanic garden of Ruhr-University (Bild: AKAFÖ)

Buddhism and Hinduism

Approximately 150,000 Buddhists and 100,000 Hindus live in Germany, the most of which are emigrants from Asia or their descendants.

The following Buddhist establishments exist in Bochum:

    Buddhist Center Bochum of the Karma Kagyü Linie e.V.
    Zen Group
    There is no Hindu Temple in Bochum, the nearest Temple (the Sri Kamadchi Ampal Temple) is located in Hamm and has become a well known Symbol of Hinduism in Germany.

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