Angela Merkel, Günther Jauch, Arne Friedrich: Plenty of celebrities supporting the initiative "Pro Reli", sought to introduce a relgion as a religion elective course in Berlin's schools. It did not work: The Berliner did not let themselves be impressed by celebrities.
In Berlin, religion is still not a regular school subject. The referendum has clearly failed. The majority of voters affirmed this after counting of more than 95 percent of those polling on the initiative "Pro Reli" according to the returning officer. So in Berlin in the future the students will go to ethics courses introduced three years ago. The classic religious education remains a complementary subject.
With an estimated turnout of 28.2 percent, nearly 710,000 cast their votes in Berlin. With counting completed of 95 percent of the vote 51.3 percent of the participating Berliners said "no" and only 48.5 percent "yes". That was for the initiative "Pro Reli" significantly less support than expected.
For a success of the initiative not only the majority of the participants should have voted for it, but also 25 percent of all voters. That would have been 611,422 voters. Indeed, they only achieved about 14 percent of the votes. (Cathcon- 33 percent pay church tax- where were they all?)
Initiator Christoph Lehmann admitted the defeat: "We clearly have not achieved the quorum." For Berlin's Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit (SPD)(Cathcon-Berlin’s openly gay and socialist mayor) after the vote on Tempelhof Airport, a year ago, this was the second political success in a referendum.
The citizens' initiative Pro Reli had ensured the referendum take place with a petition. The Berlin Senate governed by Socialists and former Communists in alliance (Red Red!) in 2006 had decided that in the classes of years seven to ten classes of common ethics would be compulsory for all pupils. The government argues that, given the cultural diversity of the metropolis, there should be a common ethical foundation. Religion can also voluntarily studied as a complementary subject. The churches complained, however, because of the already high number of hours expected of the student that this was unrealistic. "Pro Reli" had won many prominent supporters, including Chancellor Angela Merkel and presenter Günther Jauch.
Cathcon: as I once told the Anglican Archdeacon of Merioneth, studies of comparative religion makes one comparitively religious, to which he replied "Christopher, you ring as true as a bell". The Communists and assorted other socialist miscreants do not Berlin to become even comparitively religious.
One also has to remember the decades long irreligion in the Eastern part of the city.