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Germany is divided between a Catholic culture in the southern and western regions, and a Protestant culture in the northern and eastern areas. Berlin is its vibrant, cosmopolitan capital city, a mecca for young people and artists, and a global city that attracts immigrants from around the world. Catholicism is a minority religion in the capital. Practicing Catholics are even fewer. Some estimate only 10% of registered Catholics are serious about their faith.

Germans define their culture as secular, however those who declare their religion to the state are charged a church tax. The German bishops' conference estimated in 2017 that a little over 10% of Catholics were regular Mass attenders.  Some non-practicing Catholics still opt to pay the tax to support the church, while some who self-identify as Catholic do not declare in order to avoid the tax.  In 2016, more than 162,000 Catholics unenrolled from Catholic church membership in the tax rolls, a slightly smaller number than the 171,000 who were baptized that year.1


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  • 1.United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Urbanization Prospects, 2014.
  • 2.United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2015 revision.
  • 3.United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Homicide Statistics 2015.
  • 4.Transparency International, Corruption Perceptions Index 2016.
  • 5.UNICEF, State of the World's Children, 2016.
  • 6.Statistical Yearbook of the Church, 2015. Vatican City: Librera Editrice Vaticana, 2017.
  • 7.World Economic Forum, The Global Gender Gap Report, 2016.