Mosques in Germany

Mosques in Germany

© Goethe-Institut/Wilfried DechauWomen in mosque in Penzberg | © Goethe-Institut/Wilfried Dechau
Women in mosque in Penzberg (© Goethe-Institut/Wilfried Dechau)

Germany's more than three million Muslims make up the country's largest religious minority. Today the country has more than 200 mosques and 2.600 places of worship, most of which date back to the 1970s. Moreover, about 120 mosques are currently under construction or nearing completion. In August 2008 Germany's largest mosque opened in Duisburg. It is regarded across Europe as a shining example of successful religious integration.

In March and April 2008, the Stuttgart-based photographer Wilfried Dechau travelled through Germany taking pictures of mosques in the context of the German urban landscape: their interior design, Friday prayers, imams, and children, men and women at prayer. This photo journal was created in Pforzheim, Penzberg, Mannheim, Wolfsburg, Aachen, Karlsruhe, Hamburg and Stuttgart. In the exhibition Mosques in Germany, presented at the Goethe-Institut Jakarta in April 2009, Dechau's photographs served as food for thought and discussion in events addressing themes of human rights, religious freedom and tolerance. Guest speakers included Professor Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, the head of the Institute of Cultural Studies at the University of Leipzig, who spoke on religious freedom and Muslim life in Germany. After Jakarta, the exhibition toured Malaysia, Singapore, India, Turkey and the Near East.

In presenting this exhibition in Germany from March 2011 until August 2012, the Goethe-Institut provided an example of its worldwide cultural outreach while giving foreign visitors an impression of integration in Germany.

It was accompanied by the catalogue Moscheen. Mosques, published by the Wasmuth Verlag, with articles by Claus Leggewie, Lamya Kaddor and Christoph Welzbacher, among others.