Ulrich Parzany

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Ulrich Parzany (born March 24, 1941 in Essen ) is a German Protestant theologian , pastor , preacher and author .

Ulrich Parzany at ProChrist 2013


Ulrich Parzany grew up in Essen. He attended school there until he graduated from high school in 1960. According to his own statement, Parzany found his Christian faith in the Weigle House in Essen in 1955 under the influence of the youth pastor Wilhelm Busch . Until 1961 he volunteered in youth missionary work.

Parzany studied Protestant theology from 1960 to 1964 in Wuppertal , Göttingen , Tübingen and Bonn . During his studies he worked in the student mission in Germany .

After the First Theological Examination (Autumn 1964) he worked until the fall of 1965 in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan as vicar of the German provost in Jerusalem , where he both in the German Lutheran congregation and in the boarding of the Lutheran School in Beit Jala worked .

After his return, Parzany completed his theological training in the autumn of 1966 at the seminary of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland in Essen . After that he was synodal vicar in the church district of Bonn until April 1967 . In April 1967 he passed the second theological exam.

Ulrich Parzany has been with the teacher Regine, geb. Drunk, married, whom he met while studying in the Göttingen SMD group . Both have three children together and live in Kassel.

After ordination , Parzany worked from May 1967 to September 1984 as a youth pastor and head of the Weigle House in Essen. During this time his national youth evangelistic activity began. He was the chairman of the sponsoring association for the preparation and implementation of the missionary youth congresses " Christival ."

From January 1978 to mid-1999 Parzany was the editor and editor of the Christian monthly magazine steps , which saw itself as the mouthpiece of the regional church pietism and was committed to both inviting missionary and socially and politically committed work by Christians.

From October 1984 to October 2005 Parzany was General Secretary of the YMCA Association in Germany. From 1987 to 2005 he was a member of the main board of the German Evangelical Alliance .

Ulrich Parzany as the main speaker at ProChrist 2009

From October 1991 to October 1993 he chaired the national committee for " ProChrist '93" with Billy Graham and in the continuation of this work, in addition to his work as YMCA general secretary, was called to be evangelist and head of the evangelistic association ProChrist. This organized an in May 1995 with satellite transmission for the German-speaking countries of Leipzig from conducted revival meeting . Further ProChrist events took place across Europe in 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2013. From 1997 to 2009 Parzany was the keynote speaker. Parzany was also scheduled to be the main speaker for ProChrist 2013, but fell ill a few hours before the kick-off event. On this as well as on the second evening in the series, he was represented by the Württemberg pastor Steffen Kern. On the third evening Ulrich Parzany spoke again. On March 31, 2013 Parzany gave up the management of ProChrist.

From November 2002 to November 2005 he also headed the Lausanne Movement Germany based in Kassel . Since 2006 Parzany has preached regularly in the series "Divine Service as a Voyage of Discovery" of the Berlin Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church .


Parzany dealt with Islam even before the new dawn of Islam in the 1970s. His first book Jesus the Muslims, Jesus the Christians. The most important things from the Bible and Koran for conversation with Muslims appeared in 1968 in the Aussaat-Verlag Wuppertal and was later slightly revised as a chapter in Parzany's book Ein Gott für alle , Holzgerlingen 2007, pp. 80–124.

Parzany's literary work is primarily devoted to the theological justification and the practice of a holistic understanding of the Christian mission. He absolutely wants to see the inviting proclamation of the gospel (evangelism) and social responsibility held together in theory and practice. He thus represents the form of regional church pietism in the Ruhr area, following Wilhelm Busch, and the theology represented in the so-called Lausanne movement for world evangelization at its three world congresses in Lausanne 1974, Manila 1989 and Cape Town 2010.

Another focus in Parzany's publications is the reflection of Christian preaching in a pluralistic society and in particular the examination of the concept of tolerance. He refers to Jürgen Habermas , including his lecture at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences on June 29, 2002 on the topic “When do we have to be tolerant? About the competition of worldviews, values ​​and theories ”. The political virtue of tolerance does not require the denial of one's own convictions, but requires the willingness to discuss incompatible positions in public and to maintain peaceful coexistence. Parzany advocates the thesis that, after the history of the abuse of power in the state religion, Christians today have to prove that love of enemies is their distinguishing mark according to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount ( Mt 7.38-48  LUT ).

Parzany advocates a conservative interpretation of the Bible, according to which lived homosexuality is a sin and an "anomaly contrary to creation". Homosexual Christians criticized him for comparing homosexuality to adultery and behavior to both "rabbits" and misguided children in need of correction, and for a sermon on February 18, 2007, in which he spoke about adultery and homosexual practice Related to a lack of honesty and credibility. He also vigorously advocated the Christival in the controversy as to whether the 2008 Christival was an “anti-homosexual event”.

Parzany writes about the fundamental discussion about the evaluation of sexuality and marriage today: “The opposition of man and woman is an essential part of the biblical image of man ( 1 Mos 1,27  LUT ; Mt 19,4–6  LUT ). Just as the relationship between God and man is determined on the one hand by difference and on the other hand by togetherness, so is the relationship between man and woman. Wherever God, the Creator, is no longer honored, the gift and task of marriage is also dissolved. We experience that today. The Bible's criticism of extramarital sexual contact and also of homosexual acts is based on the revelation of God, the Creator, and the associated image of man. The debates about sexual forms of life are not about time-bound moral concepts, but about the recognition of God, the Creator, and the appreciation of his gift of difference and the togetherness of man and woman. "

Michael Diener , chairman of the Evangelical Alliance and member of the EKD Council since November 2015 , put the evangelical movement's negative attitude towards homosexual couples in pastoral work into perspective in a Welt article . In a later interview, Diener affirmed that homosexuals could also work in evangelical congregations "when people have spiritually clarified this question for themselves", even if most evangelical congregations are not yet ready. Parzany clearly contradicted this. On January 8, 2016, the evangelical information service idea published a memorandum from Parzany. In it he writes that he wants to “overcome” the historical-critical interpretation of the Bible and demands that he hold on to the mission to the Jews . He invited around 60 evangelical representatives to Kassel at the end of January 2016 in order to discuss the establishment of a Germany-wide confessional network on the basis of the conservative appeal “Time to get up” and his new memorandum. A joint communique emerged from these deliberations, which communicated the concerns of the representatives. The publication of this document was accompanied by the establishment of the “ Network Bible and Confession ”, of which Parzany is chairman. According to its own information, the network consists of around 1900 members from regional and free churches in German-speaking countries.


In 1998 he received the Federal Cross of Merit for his commitment to young people, missions and pastoral care. At the EXPO 2000 world exhibition , Parzany was director of the Pavilion of Hope .


A number of books have emerged from his evangelistic ministry and regular preaching. From 1984 to 2005 Parzany was co-editor and at times editor of the Bible Reading Aids Appointments with God , Bible for Today and Start of the Day , which were at times distributed in bookshops with over 100,000 copies sold annually.

In July 2017 his book “Was nun, Kirche?” Appeared, in which Parzany critically deals with the situation of the German regional churches. It landed on the Spiegel bestseller list within a few weeks of its appearance.


When the debate about the course of the Evangelical Movement through different attitudes towards homosexuality picked up speed at the beginning of 2016, Thies Gundlach , Vice President of the EKD Church Office, commented on Parzany's statements. He had called on people to resist more resolutely what he believed to be the heresies represented and promoted in the Church. Gundlach told the Evangelical Press Service that this accusation was neither new nor applicable: "I see [...] with sorrow how difficult it is for this great preacher to recognize other than heresy beyond his own convictions."

Works (selection)

  • Jesus of the Muslims, Jesus of the Christians. The most important things from the Bible and the Koran for talking to Muslims, study guides edited by Theo Sorg, Gerhard E. Stoll, Karl Sundermeier . Aussaat Verlag Wuppertal, 1968.
  • Working for Jesus. Program and practice of Pastor Wilhelm Busch . Schriftenmissions-Verlag, Gladbeck 1973, ISBN 978-3-7615-4894-3 .
  • What else can you take seriously? 2nd Edition. Schriftenmissions-Verlag, Gladbeck 1974.
  • Witnesses wanted! Evangelistic approach, social responsibility and world missionary vision in youth work . Aussaat Verlag, Wuppertal 1976.
  • Poured out like water, does life have meaning? 2nd Edition. Schriftenmissions-Verlag, Gladbeck 1978, ISBN 978-3-7958-0305-6 .
  • Wait a moment! 1983, ISBN 3-7615-3135-4 .
  • A scream tears the world apart. About the seven words of Jesus on the cross . Schriftenmissions-Verlag, Gladbeck 1978, ISBN 3-7958-2149-5 .
  • A light goes on to me . 2nd Edition. Brunnen Verlag, Gießen, Basel 1991, ISBN 3-7655-3429-3 .
  • Life with a new program . Brendow Verlag, Moers 1996.
  • Why god? 1997, ISBN 3-87067-141-6 .
  • Such is reconciliation. The homecoming of the prodigal son . Brendow Verlag, Moers 1999, ISBN 978-3-87067-791-6 .
  • Explosive. Talking against the current . 2001, ISBN 3-7615-1047-0 .
  • I believe ... What Christians profess to do . 2nd Edition. Brunnen-Verlag, Giessen u. a. 2003, ISBN 3-7655-3743-8 .
  • Incredible. Talk of doubt and wonder . Hänssler, Holzgerlingen 2003, ISBN 3-7751-4049-2 .
  • with Hans-Joachim Eckstein : The basis carries. The Paris base and the YMCA today . 2nd Edition. Aussaat Verlag, Neukirchen-Vluyn 2005, ISBN 3-7615-5346-3 .
  • One god for everyone . SCM Hänssler, Holzgerlingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-7751-4687-6 .
  • Strength and courage instead of fear and anger . SCM Hänssler, Holzgerlingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-7751-4885-6 .
  • Hello, can anyone hear me? SCM Hänssler, Holzgerlingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-7751-5117-7 .
  • Christian. Believe. Life . SCM Hänssler, Holzgerlingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-417-26466-1 .
  • This is what I stand for (autobiography), SCM Hänssler, Holzgerlingen 2014, 2nd edition 2015, ISBN 978-3-7751-5555-7 .
  • Anchor of my soul. 52 Bible words that are important to me , SCM R.Brockhaus, Wuppertal 2015, ISBN 978-3-417-26662-7 .
  • What now, church? A large ship in danger , SCM Hänssler, Holzgerlingen 2017, ISBN 978-3-7751-5792-6 .
  • You have to obey God more than people. An appeal for a courageous commitment , SCM Hänssler, Holzgerlingen 2018, ISBN 978-3-7751-5883-1 .

as editor

  • with Horst Marquardt (Ed.): Evangelism with passion. Reports and impulses from the 2nd Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization in Manila . Aussaat- und Schriftenmissions-Verlag, Neukirchen-Vluyn 1990.
  • God's word applies: This is what the network Bible and Confession stands up for , Logos Editions, Ansbach / Windsbach 2016, ISBN 978-3-945818-05-3 .
  • Healthy teaching: Texts from the Network Bible and Confession , Logos Editions, Ansbach / Windsbach 2018, ISBN 978-3-945818-13-8 .

Web links

Commons : Ulrich Parzany  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ProChrist e. V. - Pastor Ulrich Parzany (biography)
  2. Ulrich Parzany. Prochrist.org, archived from the original on April 26, 2012 ; Retrieved June 5, 2010 .
  3. Markus Mockler ( epd ): Wheelchair instead of pulpit: ProChrist boss Parzany suffers from weakness . On: evangelisch.de of March 4, 2013
  4. ^ Ulrich Parzany: Being a Christian in a pluralistic society . Lecture in the series "Klartext im Blarer" of the Evangelical Educational Institute Esslingen, February 22, 2006 (PDF; 36 kB).
  5. M. Münnich: Arguments are dead ... long live extremism. Sekteninfo.net, May 12, 2006, archived from the original on March 30, 2008 ; accessed on February 15, 2017 .
  6. Interview with Parzany. RBB broadcast “Thadeusz”, April 18, 2006, archived from the original on April 10, 2009 ; accessed on February 15, 2017 .
  7. ^ Statement ( memento of March 16, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) by HuK e. V. (offline)
  8. Get up if you are Christians! Comment by Ulrich Parzany, idea report on Kath.net , February 16, 2008, accessed on January 12, 2016.
  9. U. Parzany: Christ. Believe. Life. SCM R. Brockhaus. Witten 2012, ISBN 978-3-417-26466-1 , p. 147 f.
  10. Matthias Kamann: Chief of the Evangelicals wants to stop gay condemnation . Die Welt , December 14, 2015, accessed on January 11, 2016.
  11. Hanno Terbuyken: Ulrich Parzany wants to "overcome" the historical-critical interpretation of the Bible . evangelisch.de , January 9, 2016, accessed on January 11, 2016.
  12. Ulrich Parzany: If the Bible is God's word… . Memorandum on the idea website, January 2, 2016, accessed January 11, 2016.
  13. “Network Bible and Confession”: Will another evangelical umbrella organization be established? idea announcement, January 8, 2016.
  14. Communiqué of January 23, 2016 - Network Bible and Confession . In: Network Bible and Confession . ( bibelundbelösungen.de [accessed on January 11, 2018]).
  15. ↑ List of members - Network Bible and Confession . In: Network Bible and Confession . ( bibelundbelösungen.de [accessed on November 7, 2018]).
  16. “What now, Church?” On the SPIEGEL bestseller list: 33rd place in issue 32/2017 , buchreport.de, accessed on November 25, 2017.
  17. Thies Gundlach: EKD open to different styles of piety . epd article on Jesus.de , January 7, 2016, accessed on January 11, 2016.