Thomas Schirrmacher published his speech at the opening of the religious freedom chair at the Gießen School of Theology (Freie Theologische Hochschule Gießen). In it he thanks the vice-chair of the CDU/CSU in the German Parliament and former health minister, Hermann Gröhe, for the “most momentous rebuke in all my life”.
To quote from the speech:
“I especially welcome the former federal minister and leading member of our parliament, Mr. Hermann Gröhe. He has in 1999 – at that time still in the opposition – initiated the first discussion of our theme in the German Parliament and was outraged afterwards, seeing the thin and unreliable data provided by us.
His sentence ‘That must change’ had the effect, that professor Sauer and I founded the IIRF, which today has offices on all continents. Dear Mr. Gröhe, my deepest thanks for this most momentous rebuke in all my life, which, in the last analysis, was the key factor for the establishment of this professorial chair. And also the new office of the Federal Government Commissioner for International Freedom of Religion, which is held by Mr. Markus Grübler, whom I warmly welcome in our midst as well, has its final origin in this instance.”
- PDF-Download: Welcoming address of the World Evangelical Alliance on the opening of the new professorial chair “Religious Freedom” at the Freie Theologische Hochschule in Gießen, Germany, on May 18th 2018