Church and Nazism seem to be completely different but they actually share some of the beliefs: 1) family values 2) hostility towards bolsheviks 3) some degree of anti-semitism
Hitler considered christianity to be the religion of the "weak race" and wanted to create new, Aryan religion. He did realise, however, that he could not implement his ideas right away. Being a smooth politician he made it look like the Nazi regime was willing to cooperate with the church. A Concordat was signed in November 1934 between the Nazi Party and the Pope, which marked each other's territory: the church was not to interfere with politics and the Nazi party with the church. " The Churches were more concerned with protecting their own institutions and beliefs than in speaking out about the nature of the regime." The Church's relationship with the nazis is definitely complicated. I think that the church did not exactly collaborate with the Nazi but as it was gradually losing power and popularity among people, it could not resist directly as well. So, the church was able to compromise greatly just so it wouldn't be completely destroyed.
Churches were one of the main groups opposing Hitler. "Amongst Protestants, the Confessional Church fairly successfully resisted nazification, but it was more concerned to defend the Church than to weaken the regime itself." (Hite, Hinton, 322). Evidently, the churches proved to be a type of resistance against nazism in the simplest way - by rejecting nazism. The Catholic church largely opposed individual Nazi policies, where, "Catholic clergy criticised sterilisation, then euthanasia" (Hite, Hinton, 322). Although, "[...] [churches] as institutions did not pose a threat to the regime.", "[...] they remained an obstacle to a fully totalitarian state." (322) Quite obviously, whether churches disagreed with the Nazis over individual policies, or resisted restructuring, the independent existence of the churches proved to be a substantial barrier to a complete dominance of Nazism in Germany.
I agree with Martins statement that the churches were one of the main groups opposing Hitler, that is why it was vital for Hitler that he would sign the Concordat agreement with the church. This agreement at first allowed each side to not interfere with one another, however as time went by, Hitler started taking away rights of the church. By 1937 church members were regularly arrested and even though the church attempted to resist, there wasn't that much support for them from the people.
Thee church decided to turn i blind eye to nazim generally... so it collaborated but who could blame them? 1. The Nazis had a lot of christians and churces under them, and would stay christian 2. The Nazis were eliminating competitors... (jews) 3. The Nazis were also anti-communist 4. The church was in based really in the Nazis best friend... (Italy)
At first, the church did collaborate with the Nazi regime, or at least did not try to oppose it. With the Concordat agreement, "the Vatican recognized the new regime and promised that the Church would not interfere in politics,"(308) and vice versa. Both Hitler and the Church followed the saying "keep your friends close an your enemies closer", initially staying away from each others' affairs yet keeping an eye on each other. The most opposition came from the Confessional Church as they broke off from the Reich Church, however, the Church's opposition was minor and did not have a great influence on the Nazi regime, "There was more criticism of and opposition to the regime from individual Christians than from the Churches as instituotions. (315)."
Beginning of Nazi Regime, churches collaborated with Nazi Regime. pg 315 shows 'Many Christians supported Nazism because of its anti-communism and respect for traditional cultural values.' Unfortunately, Churches realized Nazi will control the Churches and then weaken them and finally replace them. Starting from that point, Churches started to resist Nazi Regime. According to pg 315, 'The churches were more concerned to defend their institutions from Nazi attack than to challenge the government on a broader front.' This quote shows churches were against Nazi Regime
It seems that the churches didn't completely collaborate with the Nazis, but then again didn't fully oppose them in order to survive. "In general the church hierarchy sought to avoid conflict with the regime without endorsing all aspects of its policies." R. Geary, Hitler and Nazism, 1993, p. 55 "Both Christian Churches weren't prepared to tolerate Nazi aggression against them passively. However, for purposes of self-defence, the Churches... frequently affirmed their loyalty to the state and the Fuhrer." J.R.C. Wright, 1970s article "Hitler and the Churches" "The Churches could be said to have broadly compromised in order to survive."
Though a few peaceful agreements(example : Concordat Agreement with the Pope) were signed between some religious groups and the Nazis, mostly the Churches resisted the Nazi regime ("Both Christian Churches showed they were not prepared to tolerate Nazi aggression against them passively."( J.R.C. Wright, Hitler and the Churches) "The churches were the only institution...This made them a major obstacle to the Nazi attempt to establish total control over German life." (J. Noakes. G.Pridham, Nazism : A history in documents.) . Even if it was mostly because they wished to defend their religious "space" and not so much to become a significant political opposition.
The church and the Nazis started off with a mutual neutral agreement, but eventually the Nazis began to press on the church and the Church opposed the regime. The Church had a lot of power in Germany, therefore their opposition was dangerous. "Both Christian Churches showed they were not prepared to tolerate Nazi agression against them passively" (Source 16.23). The Catholic clergy criticized sterilization and euthanasia, the Nazis supported it. Eventually many church officials ended up in prisons and some even executed Even though the Church opposed the regime they couldn't really act. "The Churches could be said to have broadly compromised in order to survive."
Mostly, the churches and the Nazi's did collaborate, although there were some cases of opposition, but Nazi's did their best in order to get rid of it. Also the opposition was not as much as for the political reasons, but for the difference in ideology of the Nazi's and Christians. Source 16.20 "The churches were the only institutions which both had an alternative "ideology" to that of the regime and were permitted to retain their own organisational autonomy. This made them a major obstacle to the Nazi attempt to establish total control over German life." Source 16.23 "Both Christian Churches showed they were not prepared to tolerate Nazi agression against them passively.. However the purpose of the Church opposition was self-defensce, not a wider political opposition; The churches... frequently affirmed their loyalty to the state and the Fuhrer". So in conclusion I'd say that Churches collaborated with the Nazi's rather than opposed them.