German churches lose more people in 2021 than in 2020


Central Europe


2021 was a year of great loss for the two main churches in Germany. Photo AFP, Odd Andersen

In 2021, many more people in Germany left one of the two leading folk churches (Protestant and Catholic) than in 2020.

That was the result of research done by the Christian press agency Idea in the 15 largest German cities.

In percentages, the number of leavers rose most in the West of the country in Cologne. It climbed from 6,960 in 2020 to 19,340 in 2021: an increase of 178 per cent. In Frankfurt am Main, there was a plus of 20 per cent, in Hanover 24 per cent and Stuttgart 29 per cent.

In absolute terms, the highest rise was in Munich, with 22,323 in 2021 against 13,549 in 2020, an increase of 65 per cent.

Other high rises were there in Berlin, Duisburg, Leipzig and Essen.

Abuse in church

The statistics do not tell the reason behind the decision to leave the church. But it is known that disclosures about sexual abuse in the church are usually followed by a gulf of leavers.



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