What is ÖKT?

Frequently asked questions on the 3rd Ecumenical Kirchentag

3rd Ecumenical Kirchentag 2021: Using the opportunity responsibly

Questions and answers on the current planning of the 3rd ÖKT and the results of the Joint Presidium meeting of 18.9.2020

Yes. Especially in times of crisis, encounter, dialogue and community are important for social cohesion. The 3rd ÖKT offers the opportunity to provide a platform for those who seriously struggle to preserve our basic democratic order, peaceful coexistence and ecological foundations of life. This opportunity should be used, because the motto "schaut hin (take a look)" calls for Christians to take responsibility. The host churches, the State of Hesse and the City of Frankfurt encouraged the DEKT and the ZdK as organisers in their plans and stand firmly by the ÖKT as partners – as does a broad alliance of civil society actors and church institutions and associations.

The four planned main thematic areas will remain, but the programme of the 3rd ÖKT will be more compact. As a result of the corona pandemic, new questions and challenges are coming to the fore. These will be of particular importance. The exchange will continue to be public, participatory and controversial: What holds our society together? How sustainable is our economic system? How can creation still be saved? How are churches and our way of living the Christian faith changing? The unique mixture of socio-political, spiritual and cultural programmes will be preserved.

The Ecumenical Kirchentag, together with the responsible authorities, will not organise an event that involves an increased risk of infection. We are working intensively with the authorities to develop a safe hygiene plan. We will also seek advice from recognised scientific experts.

The office is currently in contact with the City of Frankfurt am Main and the public health department to discuss the concrete details of the hygiene strategy. Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann, Mayor Uwe Becker, head of the City’sHealth Division Stefan Majer and the director of the district health authority Prof. René Gottschalk are supporting the ÖKT with the current planning. We firmly believe that a safe approach to hygiene and protection can be developed together. We intend to present basic thinking about the hygiene rules at another press conference in mid-October.  

Established hygiene measures such as mouth-and-nose protection, distancing rules, disinfection and good ventilation will certainly play a role.  

The hygiene strategy is expected to be approved by spring 2021. Nevertheless, the changed framework conditions mean that individual planning steps will have to be completed earlier in the schedule than, for example, in the safety plans of past Kirchentag and Katholikentag gatherings. We are currently well on track with this adjusted timetable.

The ÖKT is planned to take place. As the organisers we take responsibility for the health and safety of our participants. If we cannot protect them adequately, according to legal requirements and scientific standards, the ÖKT would be cancelled.

Due to hygiene regulations, especially the distance rules at the venues and on pathways and in places where people move around, our programme cannot be made accessible to the planned and hoped-for number of participants. Nevertheless we will be present at the trade fair grounds and in the city area. Safety is also a priority for us here. To give you a better idea, it might help to know that, according to the current status of the hygiene plan, programmes for about 30,000 people can be offered.  

But also those who cannot or do not want to travel to Frankfurt are cordially invited to join the 3rd ÖKT. We are increasingly focusing on digital formats such as streaming, chat rooms and hybrid events that bring participants together on the internet and in Frankfurt.

Ticket sales start on 1 December 2020

In schools, for example. The relevant plans are currently being coordinated with the authorities. In principle, they are optimistic that it will be possible to comply with the hygiene plan in communal accommodation.  

This time we are refraining from arranging private accommodation in order to better meet the current hygiene standards, which are constantly being adapted. The ÖKT is cooperating on a larger scale with Frankfurt Tourismusmarketing – and will thus be able to support participants in their search for hotel rooms.  

We also know that in a conurbation like the Rhine-Main area there will be many participants who will stay in their own homes. This is also shown by the experiences from the Ruhr area and the 2019 Dortmund Kirchentag.

The number of events will certainly have to be adjusted due to hygiene measures, but will still be in the four-digit range. 

The ÖKT will be present at the trade fair grounds, in open-air areas and in churches and event locations throughout the city. Of course, landmarks and attractions of the city of Frankfurt such as the Römer, Paulskirche, the cathedral, the Dominican monastery and the Alte Oper are planned as venues, along with areas that we will design especially for the ÖKT: the Weseler Werft (dockyards) and the banks of the River Main.

General FAQ

The 3rd Ecumenical Kirchentag Frankfurt 2021 is organized by the German Protestant Kirchentag (DEKT) and the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK). It takes place in Frankfurt am Main at the invitation of the Protestant Church in Hessen and Nassau (EKHN) and the Diocese of Limburg. Co-hosts are the Protestant Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck, the dioceses of Mainz and Fulda and the ACK Hessen-Rheinhessen.

For the organizational implementation of the 3rd Ecumenical Kirchentag Frankfurt 2021, an implementing organisation has been established as a legal entity, the “3rd Ökumenischer Kirchentag Frankfurt 2021 e. V.”. Its task is to ensure the organizational, legal and financial requirements for the preparation and implementation of the Ecumenical Kirchentag.

The Ecumenical Kirchentag is a joint event of the German Protestant Kirchentag (DEKT) and the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK). It will take place in Frankfurt am Main from 12 – 16 May 2021. Over five days, over 100,000 people of all ages, different religions and different origins will celebrate a festival of faith together.

The Ecumenical Kirchentag is a platform for intensive discussion about questions of faith, spirituality and ecumenism and a forum for critical debate about current social issues. Worship services, large and small panels, workshops, concerts, exhibitions, theater performances and much more invite the participants to join in, think, participate, pray and celebrate together.

The Ecumenical Kirchentag 2021 in Frankfurt is the third Ecumenical Kirchentag after Berlin 2003 and Munich 2010.

The ÖKT programme will be released in spring 2021. It will be available in German, online and as app. A booklet with programme highlights in English will also be available in print and as a PDF.

There are many ways to contribute to the Ecumenical Kirchentag and to help shape the program. Have a look at our „Contribute“ section to learn more about the possibilities to apply or register as a contributor.

If you would like to participate in the Ecumenical Kirchentag as a visitor and buy a ticket, please be patient. As soon as the ticket sale starts, we will inform you here.


The 3rd Ecumenical Kirchentag 2021 in Frankfurt/Main is an event for everyone! Numerous standards have already been established at the Kirchentag and Katholikentag. For the ÖKT, we are taking on and organizing the following:

  • decentralised service points with advice on barrier-free participation  
  • decentralized lending of aids at service points  
  • multilingualism of advisors at service points  
  • meeting café and barrier-free café/catering facilities  
  • driving and escort service  
  • advice on accessible use of public transport
  • relaxation rooms  
  • barrier-free toilets and care facilities  
  • barrier-free accommodations  
  • interpreting in German sign language (DGS) and other sign languages if necessary  
  • letter interpreting  
  • programme items in simple German
  • participatory offers  
  • (reserved) seats  
  • trained helpers – and employees   
  • barrier-free communication to all service offers  

... and much more!

Please understand that we are currently unable to provide more detailed information about these offerings. If you have urgent questions, please send them to barrierefrei(at)oekt.de.


From the environmental policy of the 3rd Ecumenical Kirchentag: "For the preparation and follow-up, implementation and administration, we see ourselves as having a duty to deal responsibly with our basis of life, the planet earth or God's creation. Our actions should be sustainable, i.e. in harmony with environmental protection, socially just conditions and economic efficiency". In order to make these efforts transparent, ÖKT is striving for certification according to EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme). Some of the basic principles of the ÖKT's environmental policy are: the avoidance and consistent separation of waste, the procurement of bio-regional-fair food, public relations work to raise awareness of the topic, low-emission transportation of people and materials, the use of green electricity and much more.

With the cooperation of everyone!

Everyone supports environmental protection at the 3rd Ecumenical Kirchentag! Those who travel by train instead of alone in their cars reduce emissions. Those who offer fair and seasonal organic products from the region at the food stand not only support the local economy but also promote biodiversity. Everyone can make an important contribution to an environmentally friendly ÖKT. We are therefore also happy to receive feedback, ideas and suggestions at umwelt(at)oekt.de.

The General Terms and Conditions (GTC) of the Ecumenical Kirchentag can be found here.