Pentecost greeting triggers political fight

In a tweet, Berlin's mayor Kai Wegner wished Christian citizens a blessed Pentecost. In doing so, he unleashed a small wave of indignation.

A tweet from the Berlin Senate Chancellery with Pentecost greetings from the Governing Mayor Kai Wegner (CDU) has triggered a discussion. Some Twitter users speak of subliminal exclusion, others of a deliberate misinterpretation.

A spokesperson for the Senate Chancellery explained on Monday that some reactions to Wegner's Pentecost message had been met with irritation. "This deliberate misunderstanding certainly does not contribute to a culture of debate that brings the city forward and together." Earlier, the "B.Z." had reported.

"To our Christian citizens I wish blessed Pentecost," Wegner's tweet read. "To all of us and our guests I wish restful days. Thank you to everyone who keeps Berlin running during the holidays," the CDU politician continued.

No sooner was the tweet online than the first comments followed: "People of different faiths live in Berlin. It is regrettable that Kai Wegner only considers non-Christians as guests," criticised Max Linke, spokesperson of the Marzahn-Hellersdorf Green Party.

Another tweet said: "I am stunned by this statement. How many Berliners are even in church or define themselves as Christian? 5 percent? Pentecost gone, Wegner gone."

Other users, however, wanted the Pentecost greeting to be understood in a completely different way: "He meant the guests of the city of Berlin who are visiting here over Pentecost! Looking for problems where there are none." Or: "You should read the message properly! He wishes Christians a happy Pentecost (because it's Christian) and everyone else a happy holiday...what's wrong with that???"