Bloomberg News White House correspondent Jennifer Epstein tweeted:
‘Obama heads to Germany on May 25 for event marking 500th anniv of the reformation for an appearance with Merkel.’
Obama heads to Germany on May 25 for event marking 500th anniv of the reformation & for an appearance with Merkel https://t.co/0aApH25WC1
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) April 11, 2017
Obama was invited to the discussion, Being Involved in Democracy: Taking on Responsibility Locally and Globally, last May. The event is being sponsored by both the Kirchentag and the Obama Foundation. It will be Obama’s first appearance with a foreign leader since leaving the White House in January.
Chair of the Evangelical Church in Germany Council, Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, said in a statement:
‘President Barack Obama’s attending the Kirchentag in Berlin, which will ring in the Reformation Summer, underlines the international character of our 500th anniversary celebrations. The churches form a global civil society network of over two billion Christians. Together, as people of faith, we live from the firm hope for a better world. Anyone who is pious also has to be politically minded. I am looking forward to enthusiastic debates during the Reformation Summer 2017.’
Christina Aus der Au, a professor at the University of Zurich’s Faculty of Theology is also looking forward to Merkel and Obama’s attendance:
‘The United States is strongly marked by the Reformation and its historical impact. At the same time, the Protestant churches and communities there have developed in their own way. President Obama and Chancellor Merkel have said that their dedication as politicians is also an expression of their Christian faith. The Kirchentag movement lives from people who work for justice and solidarity on the basis of their faith. It will be really interesting to hear what the two of them say to us Christians in Europe.’
Both Obama and Merkel have maintained a close relationship, despite prior tensions between the U.S. and Germany.
President Donald Trump and Merkel met at the White House last month for a meeting, which seemingly cast a bright light on the two world leaders’ major differences. Trump remains highly critical of Merkel’s more liberal stance on immigration, trade, and NATO.
Feature Image via Getty Images.