The "Norddeutsche Mission (NM)" was founded in 1836 by Lutheran and reformed Christian mission associations in Hamburg. Its special profile: to overcome the separation of different denominations. After its first activities in New Zealand and India, it concentrated its work from 1847 on the settlement area of the Ewe people, which was found at the "Slave coast" as it was called at that time. Since 1851, Bremen Mission has its seat in Bremen and therefore is known in West Africa as "Bremen Mission" or "Mission de Brême". In 1890, the mission area was divided among two colonial powers: At the British Gold Coast, it was an outside mission, in Togo, which was German, it was a national mission. Bound into this colonial field of tension, the Bremen Mission tried to go its way between the front lines. In Togo, it kept independence in the educational system towards the government by preferring the local language Ewe to the colonial German language. The Bremen Mission aimed at maintaining the traditional local structures. The missionary inspector Franz Michael Zahn, who headed the mission between 1862 and 1900, was critical about the colonial powers what is testified by committed petitions to the German parliament. There was a change of policy under his successor Schreiber, who led the Bremen Mission between 1900 and 1924 and showed a rather uncritical attitude towards the colonial powers. During the First World War, the colony "Deutsch-Togoland" was conquered by the French and the British. 52 staff members of the Bremen Mission had been arrested. After having divided the area into French and British mandated territory, the participation of the Mission in the parish work was forbidden for a while. It was possible to keep close contact to Bremen through the collaboration with ecumenical partners.For the young West African church, the deportation of the German missionaries was a first step into independence. In 1914, it had more or less 11 000 members, 14 pastors and 237 religious education teachers.In May 1922, local representatives of the missions came together for a synod in Kpalimé. The assembly proclaimed the fusion, the independence and unity of the parishes as the "Evangelical Ewe Church". Their first leader and synod clerk was Pastor Robert Kwami. Between 1923 and 1939, the Bremen Mission was allowed to send staff members, again. The former "One-way-traffic" from Germany to West Africa slowly turned into a brotherly partnership. Robert Kwami held 150 lectures in the North of Germany in 82 different places which were accompanied by a racist malicious campaign of the national socialists in Oldenburg. The so-called Kwami-affair was not only creating a stir in Germany, but also gave occasion to Dutch and British daily newspapers to report about this prelude of a church fight. After Ghana (1957) and Togo (1960) got independent from the colonial powers the local churches asked the Bremen Mission for help. In 1961, staff members who did not act as missionaries were sent to Togo and Ghana. In 1980, the four German Churches fused through a contract to a common missionary organization. In the new statutes in 2001, the Eglise Evangélique Prebytérienne du Togo and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana, were admitted to the Bremen Mission as equal partners.


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Our Exibition Öffnet internen Link im aktuellen Fenster"Zeitgemäß - That is our mission" describes central aspects of our story and our present work.      

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Was ist deine Mission?

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