A row broke out inside Germany’s conservative party after a veteran member proposed dropping the ‘Christian’ from its name.
Asked by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to analyse what went wrong in the party’s defeat to the Social Democrats in September, historian and long-time party member Andreas Rödder concluded that the name was putting people off.
Mr Rödder said that the name and l quote “signals exclusivity when the party is aiming for more integration” in an increasingly multicultural society and was “a barrier” to non-Christians. A similar change was made in Switzerland, where the Christian Democratic People’s Party members voted in 2020 to change their name to Die Mitte (the Middle).
The name change proposal comes as the party seeks to redefine itself after two decades in which the German public voted primarily for Angela Merkel. It has set off a debate over the relevance of Christian values to modern society.
In a vehement rebuttal, CDU religious affairs spokesman Thomas Rachel claimed that “if the CDU abolishes its C, it will abolish itself.”