German churches don't get applause after corona


Central Europe


"Please wait here." The German church could have been more welcoming during the corona pandemic. The impression the church made, was not very positive, a survey suggests. Photo AFP, Thomas Kienzle

Churches and religious institutions did not make a good impression on Germans during the corona pandemic. This is the result of a representative survey by the insurance company HDI (Hanover).

The German news portal IDEA reports about this.

3,700 citizens were asked by the opinion research institute YouGov to rate companies and institutions with school grades during the corona period. According to the survey, churches and religious institutions landed in last place with a grade of 4.1.

The top place was taken by food suppliers (2.1), followed by craftsmen (2.7) and their own employer (2.7), scientists and virologists (2.8), the Robert Koch Institute (3.0), business and industry associations (3.6), trade unions (3.7) and schools (3.8). The churches scored best in Hamburg (3.85) and worst in Saarland (4.28).

There are hardly any differences among respondents between women and men and between West and East.

Churches doubt quality of survey

The press offices of the Protestant Church in Germany and the (Catholic) German Bishops' Conference question the validity of the survey. In a joint statement, they told the Protestant news agency IDEA: "The feedback we receive as churches shows us a different picture. We will continue to be there for people, in and out of corona times, especially with our facilities for the sick, the elderly and nursing, schools and worship services."

From the start of the corona crisis in March 2020, the pandemic led to much tension in the church. Most communities chose to scale down the services and continue online. But by doing that, they lost contact with their people. The dilemma for churches was whether it was both wise and legal to decide for themselves to remain open. In some countries, this led to court cases.



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