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The Choir of the Gospel Believers International Church Berlin ministering at a service. Since the outbreak of the corona crisis, religious gatherings have been subjected to severe restrictions. African churches are an important pillar of diaspora life/Photo: Ghana Embassy Berlin

Berlin offers financial aid to churches and mosques over corona crisis

The federal state of Berlin is offering financial support to religious communities suffering from the impact of the corona crisis. Many churches and mosques are in financial distress due to pandemic-related restrictions and the resulting drop in donations they receive from members.

Small religious communities engaged in social and integration issues could apply for funding for their rent, incidental rental and personnel costs as well as for corona-related material expenses such as partition walls, the culture department responsible for the administration of the fund has announced.
Migrant religious communities, in particular, had repeatedly pointed out during the corona lockdown that many churches and mosques were struggling with a slump in donations due to the closure of their worshiping halls.

Senator for Culture Klaus Lederer emphasised the importance of supporting these communities for the social work they do unnoticed. “For example, they help with homework, offer language courses, are committed to integration, are responsible for educational work – thus shaping the dialogue between the religions,” Dr Lederer said.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus pandemic hitting immigrants in Germany hard – Integration Minister warns

There is no ceiling to the amount that can be applied for, but the aid requested has to be is based “on the actual financial loss” suffered as a result of the pandemic.
The conditions for funding include that the church or mosque must have its headquarters in the State of Berlin and be active in social and integration work. Funding is available for rent, incidental rental and personnel costs, current material resources and corona-related material expenses, such as the purchase of Plexiglas partitions, personnel guidance systems, barrier tapes, disinfectants, printing costs for information signs, etc.

Moreover, applications must be made plausible, for example, by the means of a financial plan. The deadline for application is 6 November. This is now the second Corona emergency aid programme for small religious communities in financial difficulty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Berlin.

Femi Awoniyi

The application form and information sheet about the grant are available HERE 

 

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