German Protestant Church shrinks faster than free churches


Central Europe


Worship service in Germany. Photo Facebook, Baptisten (BEFG)

Members of free churches in Germany seem to be more loyal to their denomination than members of the main Protestant Church of Germany (EKD).

The number of members declines faster in the EKD than in churches that belong to the Association of Protestant Free Churches (VEF), Idea reports based on a survey it carried out.

According to the survey, the 13 churches that belong to the VEF and two guest free churches have about 272,000 members together. In 2018, this number amounted to almost 280,000. A quick calculation shows that this is a decline of about 3 per cent in about five years.

In the same period, the EKD lost 9.4 per cent of its members as it declined from 21.14 million members to 19.15 million.


The Idea survey shows that only one free church denomination experiences growth, namely the Federation of Free Pentecostal Churches (BFP). Currently, it has 64,800 members. That is 3.1 per cent more than it had in 2019 when another survey was carried out. According to Idea, the BFP has seen growth since 2007. Now it is the second-largest free church in Germany.

In most VEF churches, the number of members is stagnating or declining, Idea writes.



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