The existence of God is not known

Lexicon for the Kirchentag Agnostics - and other views on God and faith

A Christian is a follower of Christianity. He is committed to Jesus of Nazareth and his teachings, which are handed down in the New Testament of the Bible. Part of the Christian faith is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that Jesus took on the guilt and sins of mankind on the cross and that the believers are forgiven by his death. Christians also believe in the resurrection of the dead.

Atheist and agnostic

An atheist believes that there is no god or gods. An agnostic assumes that the existence of a supernatural being, of a god or of gods can be assumed, but in principle cannot be rationalized or recognized. When asked whether there is God, an agnostic replies with "I don't know", "That is not clear" or "That cannot be answered". An atheist would answer this question in the negative and therefore could not be a believer. For the agnostic, on the other hand, ignorance does not exclude belief in a god or gods.


In addition to Christian, atheist and agnostic, there is also the term pagan. This is how people were and are often referred to who either do not belong to any religion or to another religion. It is not uncommon for the term to be used to devalue members of other religions as unbelievers. So a pagan is by no means an unbeliever. Even those who believe in several gods or are followers of a natural religion are pagans and sometimes even call themselves that. However, representatives of these religions are now called, for example, polytheists, new paganists or animists.

Heretics and blasphemy

Anyone who takes a different view of doctrine or prevailing opinion within a religious community is considered a heretic. Anyone who publicly denies, mocks or curses the beliefs of a religion is doing blasphemy. While in Western countries many statements about belief, religion and God fall under the freedom of religion, opinion and speech, blasphemy is a criminal offense in other countries. In Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or Iran it carries the death penalty.