Today, only 50% of Germans consider themselves as Christians, of which 44% are Catholic and a similar percentage Protestant. Some 36% of them believe they have no religion. This is what emerges from the study “Living Together in Religious Diversity” carried out by the Bertelsmann Foundation. Islam, meanwhile, continues to grow.
The “living together in religious diversity” study analyzed the membership of Germans based on data from the Religions-monitors 2023, for which the social research institute Infas analyzed the results of a survey of 4,363 citizens over the age of 16.
The second largest religious community in Germany, after Christianity, to which 50% of Germans say they belong, is Islam, to which 8.5% of the population claims to belong. It is followed by Hinduism (1.3%), Buddhism (0.9%), and Judaism (0.3%). 35.9% of the German population state that they do not belong to any religious community, i.e., more than a third.
According to the survey, 44.6% of Christians consider themselves Catholic and 43.7% Protestant, so their numbers are almost equal. In addition, 3.7% of Christians claim to belong to an Orthodox Church, 2.3% to the Free Evangelical Church, and 4.3%, while claiming to be Christian, do not belong to any denomination.
Another interesting result emerges from the analysis of the data. The Protestant news agency Idea reports: “In the group of free or Pentecostal Christians, four-fifths (82%) say they consider religion very or somewhat important in their daily lives. Among the Orthodox, 50% are of this opinion, among the Catholics 37%, and among the Protestants of the national churches 30%.”
In other words, Pentecostals live more in harmony with their belief, while only a third of Catholics believe that the life of faith is an important thing, when it should be the most important. It is therefore – unsurprisingly – not only the number that declines, but also the quality. This is what largely explains the growth of Islam.