Record numbers of German Christians are leaving their respective churches
Unofficial reports seem to indicate that a record number of people in Germany are quitting their faith communities with 2018 being the highest year so far. In the most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia – with almost 18 million inhabitants – 88,150 faithful left the Catholic and the Lutheran Churches.
This figure reflects an increase of 22 per cent on the previous year. The Diocese of Münster estimates that approximately 12,000 Catholics left the local community in the same year —an increase of 50 per cent on the previous twelve month period.
This epidemic desertion by the faithful is affecting all of the dioceses.
Both the Archdiocese of Hamburg and the Magdeburg Diocese are on the verge of bankruptcy; the Essen Diocese has only 42 parishes up and running, compared to 260 a few years ago. The Diocese of Mainz currently faces a deficit of 26 million euro.
A study carried out by the Sinus Institute in Heidelberg paints an even darker picture of the real situation of the German church. According to its findings, in 2017, while only seven per cent of German Catholics walked away from their church community, 41 per cent had considered abandoning the church as a real possibility. The most common reasons given were the sexual abuse crisis and the church tax system – among others.
Spurce: Die Tagespost, Die Zeit