Adolf Hitler's religious beliefs have been a matter of dispute, in part because of apparently inconsistent statements made by and attributed to him. The relationship between Nazism and religion was complex and shifting over the period of the Nazi Party's existence and during its years in power.
Early on, Hitler expressed his opinion about God and religion as follows, "We do not want any other god than Germany itself. It is essential to have fanatical faith and hope and love in and for Germany."
In public statements, especially at the beginning of his rule, Hitler frequently spoke positively about the Christian heritage of German culture and his belief in the "Aryan" Christ. Joachim Fest wrote, "Hitler knew, through the constant invocation of the God the Lord (German: Herrgott) or of providence (German: Vorsehung), to make the impression of a godly way of thought." He used his "ability to simulate, even to potentially critical Church leaders, an image of a leader keen to uphold and protect Christianity," according to Ian Kershaw. Kershaw adds that Hitler by this ability also succeeded in appeasing possible Church resistance to anti-Christian Nazi Party radicals. For example, on March 23, 1933, he addressed the Reichstag: "The National Government regards the two Christian confessions (i.e. Catholicism and Protestantism) as factors essential to the soul of the German people. ... We hold the spiritual forces of Christianity to be indispensable elements in the moral uplift of most of the German people." At one point he described his religious status: "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so."