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
- As church-goers wane, Germany's controversial tax prompts unease - Catholic News Agency - February 12, 2015
- Anti-immigration rallies in Germany defy calls to desist - New York Times - January 5, 2015