Many Germans have renounced their membership of the Catholic Church, according to new statistics, the Catholic News website reports today (July 27, 2015).
Figures show that the numbers leaving the Church in 2014 was 22 percent higher than in the previous year, going from 178,805 to 217,716.
Not only has this reduction affected the size of the Catholic community, but also the amount of income that the Church receives via the Church tax.
If a person is baptized as a child in Germany, he (or she) is considered a member of the Church and liable to pay the Church tax, an arrangement that was formalized in the 19th century. It is believed that the existence of this tax acts as a major factor in motivating many Germans to make a formal renunciation of their faith.