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Freedom of Faith In the history and presence of Hamburg

27.09.2023 – 15.07.2024

Ausstellungsmotiv Glauben und Glauben lassen

We have the freedom to believe what we want – or not to believe. Freedom of religion is a general human right and set in Germany’s Basic Law. In everyday life, this right is contested. Architecture, religious education in schools, funerals – the topics are manifold. With this exhibition we invite visitors to join in the discussion about freedom of religion and its limits in history, but above all in our present.
In Altona, freedom of religion has been a tradition since 1601. The then independent city of Altona set a counterpoint to Hamburg at the end of the 16th century. Different than Hamburg, which only allowed the Lutheran faith, Altona invited religious minorities to practise their faiths. The two streets „Große Freiheit“ and „Kleine Freiheit“ tell this story in their names. Here religious minorities were allowed to build churches and establish cemeteries. Starting from the Altona history, the exhibition examines the present of religious freedom in Hamburg. In more than 50 video interviews, Hamburg residents talk about their faith and the meaning of freedom of faith in the everyday life in a city that is both religiously diverse and increasingly secular.


We condemn the terrorist attacks in Israel and the violence against innocent people who are not to blame for this conflict. Our thoughts are with the victims of the attack and with all those affected by it.

As a museum, we want to offer guidance in dealing with the past and present. And to help ensure that discrimination and hatred have no place in our society.

We hope that our current special exhibition “Freedom of faith” will provide an opportunity for discussion about the importance of freedom of belief. And also about how a diverse society can live together in mutual respect.

With support by

Founded in the programm 360° – Fonds für Kulturen der neuen Stadtgesellschaft