German Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne is now being tagged by some people as the Antichrist because of his outspoken defence of Muslim migrants.
The cardinal earlier criticised Germany's anti-Islam party, Alternative for Deutchsland (AfD), for claiming that Islam is incompatible with the German Constitution. On the contrary, he said "the religion of Islam is compatible with the German Constitution just as Judaism or Christianity is."
"Anyone who denigrates Muslims as the AfD leadership does should realise prayer rooms and mosques are equally protected by our Constitution as our churches and chapels," he said. "Whoever says 'yes' to church towers must also say 'yes' to minarets."
"Those who question the freedom of belief and religion guaranteed by our Constitution should ask themselves whether they haven't left the grounds of the Constitution with their fear-fanning postulations," Woelki said. "We do not need any such alternative for Germany. The freedom of religion in our country is without alternative. Never again must people in this country be marginalised or persecuted for their race, ethnicity or religion."
Editor-in-chief Ingo Brueggenjuergen of the Catholic broadcaster Dom Radio noted that Woelki is now being punished for his statements. In fact, some people are calling him as the Antichrist and have accused him of destroying the Catholic Church.
"These self-appointed saviours of the Christian West who are looking for an absolute Antichrist should take a look in the mirror," said Brueggenjuergen, adding that Woelki is in "good company" with Pope Francis, who has always considered Muslims as "brothers in faith."
Earlier, the AfD's deputy leader Beatrix von Storch, who is also a member of the European parliament, criticised Islam and the influx of Muslim immigrants in Germany. Storch is concerned over Islamisation and has vowed to take action against it.
"Islam is in itself a political ideology that is not compatible with the Constitution," said Storch. "We are in favour of a ban on minarets, on muezzins and a ban on full veils."