Founding and Growth

The completion of the first Act of Consecration of Man constituted the birth of The Christian Community. It was preceded by the immeasurable and selfless help of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), whose science of the spirit, Anthroposophy, is an essential component of theology for priests in The Christian Community. The founders of The Christian Community, including Friedrich Rittelmeyer and Emil Bock, had questions about the renewal of Christianity that led to the creation of The Christian Community in Europe in 1922. It is not an “anthroposophical church,” although it is the only Christian church whose clergy recognize Anthroposophy and have accepted it as a decisive aid for the broadening and renewal of theology.

From the start, The Christian Community has been an independent sacramental community, without attachment to any existing church or ecumenical movement. It views Christianity as universal and sees its singular greatness as something that should not be distorted by an overemphasis on sectarian teaching or behavioral codes. While The Christian Community does not claim to be a church for everyone, it is certainly not exclusive and welcomes, without regard to race, gender or sexual orientation, all who are looking for a church that combines sacramental integrity with freedom of belief.

The Christian Community was founded in 1922 as an independent Christian church (see the page entitled Background) to develop a spiritually open, inspiring and effective new religious mood.

Initially communities were founded in Germany, Austria and the German part of Switzerland. Within the first few years the movement spread to the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia. While these countries had their own languages and culture, their historical and cultural ties to German-speaking Central Europe were strong. To carry the work into the English-speaking countries was a further step, and in 1929 The Christian Community began in London.

In Germany and the occupied countries The Christian Community came to the attention of the Nazi Regime for its powerful spirit of freedom and its development of a truly Christian idea of the becoming human being. This resulted in its being banned, its priests were arrested, books confiscated, and its services forbidden. The Christian Community continued working in Switzerland, Great Britain and Sweden during this time.

In Germany in 1945, The Christian Community was newly founded at Pentecost. Communities grew up in all the large German cities. In 1948 the decisive step was taken to move beyond Europe and found The Christian Community in America. Then in 1960s the work started in South America and in South Africa. In 1988 the movement spread to Australia and New Zealand, and in 2000 to Japan.

There are communities in many English-speaking countries, including Great Britain and Ireland, USA and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia, as well as in Europe in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, Estonia, Georgia, and further afield in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and Japan.