Nova24TV English

Slovenian News In ENGLISH

Fewer Christians, more Muslims and atheists in Germany

Religious life in Germany has become significantly more diverse in recent decades. In 1950, almost 96% of Germans belonged to the two main Christian denominations, Catholicism and Protestantism. At that time, the share of atheists and other religions was only 4.4 percent. The picture, however, is very different today, Bertelsmann Stiftung Foundation’s study Religion Monitor 2023 suggests.

The study shows that only 50 percent of those questioned in Germany belong to a Christian faith. Within the Christian half of the population, 88 percent consider themselves Catholic or Protestant. Other Christians said they were Orthodox, Free Church/Pentecostal or had no denomination.

The second largest religious community in Germany is Islam with 8.5 percent. Islam is also diverse in Germany and includes Sunnis, Shiites, Alevis and those outside denominations.

Islam is followed by by Hinduism (1.3 percent), Buddhism (0.9 percent) and Judaism (0.3 percent).

Over a third of Germans (35.9 percent) said they did not belong to any religious community. This is a large, socially relevant group.

According to the Religion Monitor study, many people now view their faith as something private and individual. The majority of believers do not (25 percent) or only irregularly (57 percent) participate in community rituals. Most people in Germany call themselves “moderately religious.”

There is, however, a growing gap between the third of the population who have no connection to religion and a smaller group of people whose lives are strongly influenced by religion. These include, in particular, people belonging to the Evangelical/Free Church/Pentecostal or Sunni faith.

The study proves that there is still a high degree of religious tolerance, but it has decreased compared to the Religion Monitor 2013. For example, 93 percent agree with the general statement that everyone should have the freedom to change or abandon their religion. 80 percent are of the opinion that one should be open to other religions (in 2013 this was 89 percent).

Vegyes kép rajzolódik ki abban a kérdésben, hogy hogyan értékelik a vallási sokszínűséget: Itt a lakosság egy-egy harmadra oszlik. Vannak, akik a vallás pluralizálódását fenyegetésként, vannak akik a társadalom gazdagodásaként érzékelik, és vannak, akiknek vegyes érzéseik vannak ezzel kapcsolatban. Amint a felmérésből kiderül, a vallási sokszínűséghez való pozitív hozzáállás együtt jár a nagyobb személyközi bizalommal – ami a társadalmi kohézió fontos eszköze.

A mixed picture emerges when it comes to the question of how religious diversity is assessed: here, the population is split into three thirds: those who perceive religious pluralism as a threat, those who see it as an enrichment of society, and those who are ambivalent. The study shows that a positive attitude towards religious diversity goes hand in hand with more interpersonal trust, which is an important factor in social cohesion.


Share on social media