Annette Kurschu’s favorite to preside over the EKD Council

Dhe Westphalian President Annette Kurschus is the favorite to succeed Heinrich Bedford-Strohm as Council Chairman of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). The 58-year-old leader clergy from the Westphalian regional church achieved the best election result among the leading clergy who were available at the synod conference on Tuesday in the election of the new EKD council. Kurschus received 108 votes out of 146.

Reinhard Bingener

Political correspondent for Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Bremen based in Hanover.

The synod does not make the decision on the council presidency until Wednesday, when the new council proposes the person who is to lead the EKD for the next six years. In principle, all members of the council are eligible for this, including non-theologians. So far, however, a leading clergyman from the regional churches has always been elected. The personal performance in the election to the council usually anticipates who will be proposed as council chairman for the highest Protestant church office on Wednesday.

In addition to Annette Kurschus, the Hamburg bishop Fehrs was also traded as a candidate for the office. From circles of the church parliament it was heard that after Nikolaus Schneider and Heinrich Bedford-Strohm they wanted to elect a woman to head the church. With Margot Käßmann, only one woman has headed the Evangelical Church so far. In 2010, however, she resigned after three months in office after she was caught drunk behind the wheel.

The previous council chairman Heinrich Bedford-Strohm has led the EKD since 2014. He did not run for the council again because his term as Bavarian regional bishop ends in two years. Kurschus is known as an eloquent but also cautious theologian. Fehrs has been more present in recent years and has been entrusted with dealing with sexualised violence within the Protestant Church in recent years.

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