Church In Rheinbach, Germany. Photo: Julia Steinbrecht; Catholic News Service

Historic Record of Loss of Faithful in Germany and of Income via Ecclesiastical Tax

In 2022, the collection of funds increased by 200 million, although looking to the future this does not seem sustainable. Added to this is the fact that people’s incomes have dropped and this drop is a trend.

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ZENIT News / Cologne, 04.12.2023).- A study published on Saturday, April 8, 2023, by the German Economic Institute (IW), with headquarters in Cologne, revealed that in 2022 the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Church in Germany lost a combined total of 1.3 million faithful, which implies 3% of the total. The study reflects a historic record of losses.

Given that the losses mean a halt to the ecclesiastical tax, the two Christian Confessions, which are a majority in the country, now face a financial challenge. 

As is known, in Germany belonging to a religious Confession, such as the Evangelical or Catholic, implies the payment of an ecclesiastical tax. This tax is linked to an individual’s income tax. That is why the perception of funds in 2022 increased to 200 million, however, in face of the future, this doesn’t seem sustainable. Added to this is the fact that people’s income has decreased and that decrease is now a tendency. The forecasts of the German Economic Institute is that for 2027, 4% less income will be perceived than in 2022 and 11% less than in 2019. The Institute advises against an increase in the ecclesiastical tax as it would entail the risk of more people leaving the Churches. 

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