Religions in Germany

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Denomination at district level according to the 2011 census: yellow: Roman Catholic, purple: Protestant, green: other (no denomination, other religions or no information); dark: absolute majority, light: relative majority
Denominations in Central Europe around 1618: The red areas are predominantly Protestant, the blue and blue striped areas are predominantly Roman Catholic.
Denomination map of Germany in the 1890s, according to Meyers Konversationslexikon

The image of religions in Germany is currently (end of 2019) characterized by around 27% Catholics and around 26% Protestants (the latter mostly organized in the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD)). The Roman Catholic Church had 22,600,371 members (27.2% of the total population) at the end of 2019, the Evangelical Churches of the EKD 20,713,213 members (24.9%). This means that a total of 52.1 percent of Germans still belong to one of the two large churches in Germany.

If you include Orthodox (last figure: around 1.5 million) and members of other Christian communities (around 900,000), the proportion of Christians in 2019 was 55 percent, in 2018 it was 56 percent. Non-denominational and people of other faiths are 45%.

In the old federal states , apart from the city-states of Hamburg , Berlin and Bremen, there are more Christians than non-Christians in all federal states; in Schleswig-Holstein there is roughly a tie between Christians and non-Christians; the south-east ( Bavaria ) and west ( Rhineland-Palatinate , North Rhine-Westphalia , Saarland ) are predominantly Roman Catholic (absolute majority in Saarland) and the center and north ( Hesse and Lower Saxony ) are predominantly Protestant; In Baden-Wuerttemberg (southwest) there is more or less parity between the two major Christian denominations with a slight Catholic majority. In the city-states and in the new federal states , Christians are in the minority and a clear majority of them are Protestant.

As of December 31, 2015, the number of Muslims was estimated between 4.4 and 4.7 million , which corresponds to 5.4 to 5.7% of the total population. All other religious communities together make up almost 1% of the population in Germany, including 270,000 Buddhists , 200,000 Jews , 100,000 Hindus , 100,000 Yazidis , 10,000 to 20,000 Sikhs and 6,000 to 12,000 Baha'i .

According to various sources, 38–39% of people in Germany have no denomination.

Religions in Germany in numbers

Religious affiliation in Germany

Unless otherwise stated, sources are the Religious Studies Media and Information Service (REMID) and Schmid, churches, sects , religions . For all religious communities that are not a corporation under public law , as well as for those with no religious affiliation, the figures are based on estimates and projections, as no official figures exist. In the area of ​​small religious communities, not all communities or churches are listed, only the best known. In the 2011 census , membership of religious communities was also asked; the most important results can be found here.

Surname Members or number
Proportion of the population
year source
Non-denominational 32.271.500 38.8% 2019 fowid
Roman Catholic Church in Germany 22,600,371 27.2% 2019 DBK
Evangelical Church in Germany 20,713,000 24.9% 2019 EKD
Sunnis 2,640,000 3.2% 2006 REMID
Alevis 500,000 0.6% 2009 REMID
Greek Orthodox Church 400,000 0.5% 2017 REMID
Serbian Orthodox Church in Germany 337,000 0.4% 2017 REMID
New Apostolic Church 333.315 0.4% 2018 own information
Buddhists 270,000 0.33% 2010/11 REMID
Russian Orthodox Church 240,000 0.3% 2017 REMID
Twelve Shiites 225,500 0.27% 2006 REMID
Jehovah's Witnesses 166,886 0.20% 2014 REMID
Romanian Orthodox Church 85,000 - 150,000 0.2% 2017 REMID
Bulgarian Orthodox Church 130,000 0.15% 2017 REMID
Syrian Orthodox Church 100,000 0.12% 2014 REMID
Hindus 100,000 0.12% 2012 REMID
Yazidis 100,000 0.12% 2015 REMID
Central Council of Jews in Germany 97.791 0.12% 2017 own information
Jews not belonging to a community 90,000 0.11% 2007 REMID
Association of Evangelical Free Churches (Baptists) 82,357 0.10% 2017 REMID
Baptist congregations ( Evangelical Christians-Baptists , IBC and others) 75,000 0.09% 2005 REMID
Alawites 70,000 0.09% 2010 REMID
Federation of Free Church Pentecostal Congregations 56,275 0.06% 2017 own information
Methodist Church 50,137 0.06% 2017 REMID
Mennonite churches 47,492 0.05% 2018 REMID
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat 45,000 0.05% 2016 REMID
Federation of Free Protestant Congregations in Germany 41,203 0.05% 2017 REMID
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church 40,700 0.05% 2013 REMID
Mormonism 40.011 0.05% 2017 own information
Free religious 40,000 0.05% 2005 REMID
Armenian Apostolic Church 35,000 0.04% 2012 REMID
Seventh-day Adventists 34,948 0.04% 2017 REMID
Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church 33,474 0.04% 2017 REMID
Independent African Churches 30,000 0.04% 2005 REMID
Brethren Movement 27,000 0.04% 2017 REMID
Ethiopian Orthodox Church 20,000 0.02% 2008 REMID
Coptic Orthodox Church 20,000 0.02% 2016 REMID
The Christian Community 16,000-20,000 0.02% 2010 REMID
Old Catholic Church in Germany 15,556 0.02% 2017 own information
Charismatic renewal 15,000 0.02% 2015 REMID
Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch 15,000 0.02% 2008 REMID
Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church 15,000 0.02% 2016 REMID
Apostle ministry of Jesus Christ 11,500 0.01% 2014 REMID
Sikhs 10,000-20,000 0.01% -0.02% 2016 REMID
Sufism 10,000 0.01% 2015 REMID
Salafism 8,350 0.01% 2016 REMID
Soka Gakkai International - Germany 8,000 0.01% 2020 own information
Finnish church work in Germany 7,833 0.01% 2017 own information
Evangelical old reformed church in Lower Saxony 6,542 0.01% 2017 REMID
Chrischona International 6,500 0.01% 2007 REMID
Bahaitum 6,000-12,000 0.01% 2007/2013 Brockhaus Religions / Annual Report KdöR
Maronites 6,000 0.01% 2005 REMID
Danish Church in South Schleswig 5,822 0.01% 2017 own information
Neo Sannyas (Bhagwan Movement) 5,000-6,000 0.01% 2005 REMID
Moravian Brethren 5,290 0.01% 2018 REMID
Assyrian Church of the East approx. 5,000 0.01% 2017 own information
Union of Progressive Jews in Germany 5,000 0.01% 2012 REMID
Messianic Jews 5,000 0.01% 2013 REMID
Jesus freaks 5,000 0.01% 2009 REMID
Mülheim Association of Free Church Evangelical Congregations 4,438 0.01% 2014 REMID
Popular mission of resolute Christians 4,300 0.01% 2012 REMID
Apostolic Community 4,300 0.01% 2018 own information
Rosicrucians 4,200 0.01% 2012 REMID
Church of the Christians Ecclesia 4,000   2005 REMID
Communion in Christ Jesus 3,800   2003 REMID
Dutch Church in Germany 3,000   2016 own information
Catholic Apostolic Congregations 3,000   2012 REMID
Church of God Germany KdöR 3,000   2010 REMID
Johannische Church 3,000   2011 REMID
Churches of Christ 2,800   2005 REMID
Free church covenant of God's church 2,500   2010 REMID
Church of the Nazarene 2,300   2010 REMID
Mandaeans 2,200   2013 REMID
Christian Science 2,000   2005 REMID
Christian community shepherd and flock 2,000   2005 REMID
Macedonian Orthodox Church 2,000   2008 REMID
Ismailis 1,900   2005 REMID
Daoism 1,900   2011 REMID
Federation of Evangelical Reformed Churches in Germany 1,500   2012 REMID
Salvation Army 1,319   2020 own information
Evangelical Lutheran Free Church 1.317   2010 e. A.
Unitarians 1,200   2005 REMID
Walloon-Dutch Church 1,100   2016 -
Ásatrú 1,000   2007 e. A.
voodoo 1,000   2010 REMID
Georgian Orthodox Apostles Church 1,000   2005 REMID
Transcendental meditation 1,000   2005 REMID
Shinto 1,000   2011 REMID
Free Bible Students 881   2007 REMID
Reform Adventists 800   2005 REMID
Zaidites 800   2007 REMID
Serious Bible Students 672   2005 REMID
Zoroastrianism 500-700   2005 REMID
International Society for Krishna Consciousness 450   2010 REMID
Worldwide Church of God 400   2005 REMID
Anskar Church 350   2003 Schmid
Germanic neo-paganism 300   2015 own information
International Churches of Christ 300   2003 Schmid
Ibadites 270   2013 REMID
Quaker 250   2005 REMID
New Church 200   2005 REMID
Jainism 180   2011 REMID
Twelve tribes 50-100   2005 REMID
Neuro- Spinozism 50-100   2005 REMID
Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement 60   2001 own information
Metropolitan Community Church 50   2005 REMID
1Belonging to Islam is not recorded by the registry office in Germany. It is therefore not possible to specify the exact proportion of Muslims in Germany. In the above description it is assumed that all people who have immigrated from the Islamic cultural area are Muslims, but this can be ruled out with certainty. The research group Weltanschauungen in Germany cited as the source assumes that a maximum of 50% of the population group listed here as Muslims can actually be classified as religious Muslims; the greater part is to be assigned to the group of the non-denominational.

Distribution of the two major denominations to the federal states

The three maps show a tripartite division of Germany for 2011. In the north and in the center there is a relative majority of Protestant Christians, in the south and west predominantly Catholics.

Members of the
Regional Churches
(EKD) [million inhabitants]
Members of the
Roman Catholic
[millions EW]
[million PE]
Members of the
EKD [%]
Members of the
Roman Catholic
Church [%]
Baden-Württemberg 11,100 3.074 3,583 4,443 27.7 32.3 40.0
Bavaria 13.125 2.306 6.277 4,542 17.6 47.8 34.6
Berlin 3,669 0.541 0.313 2.816 14.8 8.5 76.7
Brandenburg 2.522 0.360 0.090 2.072 14.3 3.6 82.1
Bremen 0.681 0.215 0.067 0.399 31.5 9.9 58.6
Hamburg 1,847 0.450 0.178 1.220 24.4 9.6 66.0
Hesse 6.288 2.042 1.363 2.883 32.5 21.7 45.9
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania 1.608 0.233 0.054 1.321 14.5 3.4 82.2
Lower Saxony 7,994 3.367 1.321 3.306 42.1 16.5 41.4
North Rhine-Westphalia 17.947 4.211 6.633 7.103 23.5 37.0 39.6
Rhineland-Palatinate 4.094 1.078 1.614 1.401 26.3 39.4 34.2
Saarland 0.987 0.169 0.549 0.268 17.1 55.7 27.2
Saxony 4.072 0.716 0.151 3.205 17.6 3.7 78.7
Saxony-Anhalt 2.195 0.257 0.072 1,866 11.7 3.3 85.0
Schleswig-Holstein 2.904 1.257 0.173 1.473 43.3 6.0 50.7
Thuringia 2.133 0.437 0.161 1.535 20.5 7.6 72.0
Germany as a whole 83.167 20.713 22,600 39.853 24.9 27.2 47.9

The last three columns contain the percentages, whereby for the sake of clarity the background for numbers above 30%, 40% and 50% is highlighted in light gray, gray or pink. Similarly, in the second column, the backgrounds for population numbers over five or ten million and the total number are highlighted in light gray, gray or pink. The figures for the federal states are from 2019.

Development of religious affiliations

While the overwhelming majority of Germans were still members of a religious community around 1950, the proportion of “non-denominational” has increased since then and is now around a third of the population. Reasons for leaving were and are, for example, the rejection of the church's morality, a- or anti-religious worldview, the turn to religions that are not organized in corporations under public law , or the desire to avoid church taxes . In connection with this, the number of baptized children also decreased.

Although the number of people without a denomination has continued to increase in both East and West since the reunification of Germany, this development began much earlier in the East, partly due to an atheistic educational and religious policy. In 1945 90 percent of the people in East Germany were church members, in 1989 it was only 25 percent.

As a survey by the Eurobarometer of the European Commission from December 2018 shows, only a minority in eastern Germany feels that they belong to Christianity, while in the west a clear majority profess to the Christian religion. According to the latest statistics from the (Catholic) German Bishops' Conference (Bonn) and the EKD, based in Hanover, every third citizen in western Germany is Catholic (33.1 percent), in the east (including Berlin) only every 20th (5.3 percent) ). Regional church Protestants make up a share of 27.7 percent in the west and 16.1% in the east.


The affiliation to a religion (or church) must be distinguished from the faith of their members (or non-members). A member of the Roman Catholic Church can be an atheist or a non-member can be a believer. According to a survey by Spiegel 2019, the proportion of Germans who are members of one of the two main churches (approx. 54%) is as large as the proportion of Germans who believe in God (55%). However, belief in God is not the same as membership in a church. Only 75% of German Catholics believe in God, while it is only 67% among Protestants. At the same time, 66 percent of all those surveyed by Spiegel are convinced that miracles exist (but without specifying the nature of these miracles in more detail). One could interpret this in such a way that faith in God is declining, but the need for spirituality remains great. Likewise, only 53% of Catholics still believe in life after death . Although it is a core element of Christian teaching, only 58 percent of Protestants and 61 percent of Catholics still believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ as recorded in the New Testament .

Belief in God according to the Spiegel survey (population shares since 1967)
1967 1992 1996 2005 2019
Germany - 50% 45% 66% 55%
- West 68% 56% 51% 74% 63%
- East - 27% 20% 36% 26%
Catholics - 70% 63% 85% 75%
Protestants - 53% 45% 79% 67%
Non-denominational - - - 28% 20%


Roman Catholic Church in Germany

The Roman Catholic Church of St. Gereon in Cologne (4th century). Oldest still existing church in Germany

Main article: Roman Catholic Church in Germany

In Germany ( as of 2016 ) 28.5% of the total population or 23.58 million people are members of the Roman Catholic Church . The Roman Catholic Church in Germany is divided into seven church provinces with 27 dioceses . These form the Association of Dioceses in Germany . Traditionally, Catholicism is more widespread in the south and west of the country. Its traditional main distribution area stretches in a strip (with interruptions) in the extreme west and south of the country almost from the North Sea along the Middle, Upper and High Rhine and Lake Constance to the south of Bavaria. The first diocese is documented as early as the 3rd century in Trier and Cologne . A comprehensive Christian missionary work of the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire did not begin until the 6th century and lasted until the 10th century.

Between 2003 and 2006, the number of people leaving the Roman Catholic Church fell, and from 2007 onwards they rose again.

The Roman Catholic Church assigns Germany the patron saint Michael and in Rome the Church of Santa Maria dell'Anima , the priestly college and hospice there Collegio Teutonico di Santa Maria dell'Anima and the cemetery Campo Santo Teutonico .

Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD)

Main article: Evangelical Church in Germany

The Reformation began in Germany in the 16th century with Martin Luther . Before the First World War , over 60% of the population belonged to the Protestant churches of the regional church. Most Lutherans in Germany belong to the member churches of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD). In addition to the Lutheran churches, the Protestant churches in Germany also include Protestant Reformed and United regional churches.

At the end of 2016, 21.92 million people or 26.5% of the total population of Germany were members of the Evangelical Church. At the end of 2014, 22.63 million people out of the total population of Germany were still members of the Evangelical Church.

This means that the number of members of the Evangelical Lutheran , Evangelical Reformed and Evangelical Union regional churches that have come together in the Evangelical Church in Germany is below that of the Roman Catholic Church . The north-western parts of Germany are particularly evangelical: in Schleswig-Holstein with 47.8% and Lower Saxony with 45.7% (data from 2015).

The Protestant Church in Germany is seen from the outside as "characterized by stark contrasts, but also lively and conflict-prone"; As one of the largest employers in the country, especially in diakonia , it only grants limited employee rights; their "invigorating element" is seen in the Protestant academies and student communities ; After the unification of Germany, she had to learn to deal with the fact that the area of ​​the former GDR had been "extensively de-Christianization".

Orthodox Christianity

Russian Chapel, Darmstadt

While the area of ​​today's Germany after the Oriental Schism was in the area of ​​the Western Church , Orthodox churches are now also represented in Germany through immigration and conversion. Many Orthodox services are celebrated in the original native languages ​​or in Church Slavonic . The Orthodox churches, which are usually organized by country, have dioceses abroad. Orthodox church services have been held in the chapel of the Greek House in Leipzig since around 1700 , where Greek merchants frequented and settled; this was also used by Russian and Romanian believers. Family relationships between ruling families, especially the tsarist families, led to the construction of some Orthodox churches in the 19th century, for example in Wiesbaden , Darmstadt and Dresden .

Around 1.5–2.2 million Orthodox live in Germany (around 2–3% of the total population). 408,000 of the Orthodox have a German passport, very few are of German origin. The most strongly represented nationality among the Orthodox in Germany are the Greeks . Other larger groups are Russians , Romanians , Serbs and Bulgarians .

Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Afrem & St. Theodoros, Giessen

Orthodox churches in Germany are:

Most of the Orthodox churches in Germany have come together to form the Commission of the Orthodox Church in Germany - Association of Dioceses - (KokiD) with its seat in Dortmund . In 2010 the Orthodox Bishops' Conference was founded in Germany .

New Apostolic Church

New Apostolic Church in Karlsruhe

The New Apostolic Church in Germany with about 333,000 members, the fourth largest single church (but is less than 0.5% of the population is) and Christian (by the Orthodox Churches), the fourth-largest denomination. The New Apostolic Church in Germany is divided into four legally independent District Churches, all of which are registered as corporations under public law . The official abbreviation in the German-speaking area is NAK.

In addition to a publishing house for the production of the church's own publications and magazines, the church in Germany also maintains its own charitable institutions. The first New Apostolic Church Congress took place on Pentecost 2014.

Around 1863, the General Christian Apostolic Mission was formed from circles of the Catholic Apostolic congregations in Hamburg and later, from 1878, the “New Apostolic Church” (since 1907 the official name, since 1930 “New Apostolic Church”). In 2014 the New Apostolic Church celebrated its 150th anniversary. In the course of its history the New Apostolic Church has experienced divisions and separations. The largest communities still in existence in Germany today are the Apostle Ministry of Jesus Christ , the Apostle Ministry of Judah , the Apostolic Community and the Apostolic Community of Wiesbaden .

Jehovah's Witnesses

Kingdom Hall in Karlsruhe

The Jehovah's Witnesses are a chiliastic religious community that emerged from Christianity and founded in the United States by Charles Taze Russell in the late 19th century . The Jehovah's Witnesses have been proven in Germany since 1903, the central communication organ of the religious community - the magazine Der Wachtturm - has been published in German since 1897.

The German administrative center of the religious community is located under the name Wachtturm Bibel- und Traktatgesellschaft , Deutscher Zweig e. V. in Selters im Taunus . The seat of the religious community, as a corporation under public law , is in Berlin . Their religious practice buildings are called the "Kingdom Hall" in the local community and, more broadly, the "Congress Hall". The active membership in 2010 was 165,568.


Johann Gerhard Oncken , founder of the Baptists in Germany

The autonomous Baptist congregations in Germany are organized in the Federation of Evangelical Free Churches . In addition, there are so-called Free Baptist Congregations that do not belong to any superordinate federation and only maintain loose contact with one another. These include the Reformed Baptists , the Bible Baptists, and a large number of Baptist congregations with a Russian-German background.

The Baptists have existed in Germany since 1834. Baptism spread in Germany and continental Europe primarily through the merchant and later Baptist preacher Johann Gerhard Oncken from Varel , who had been converted in a Methodist congregation in England .

Since the opening of the Iron Curtain, many Germans have immigrated to Germany from the states of the former Soviet Union ( Russian Germans , Kazakhstan Germans , Kyrgyzstan Germans ). To a large extent they were Gospel Christians-Baptists . Integration into the existing German communities was only possible in the initial phase. They soon founded their own churches and various supra-church associations. However, there are also Germans from Russia in local Baptist congregations who have found a spiritual home there over the long term.

Since the post-war period there have been American Baptist congregations in Germany that were founded by helpers or soldiers of the US Army . Some of them are associated members of the German Federation of Evangelical Free Churches and full members of the European Baptist Federation .


Menno Simons , Anabaptist reformer and namesake of the Mennonites

The Mennonites have a congregational structure, which means that the individual congregations work independently. There is no hierarchical church structure. The congregations are, however, partly connected to one another through associations such as the Working Group of Mennonite Congregations. Due to the independence of the individual communities, opinions may differ from one community to another. The Free Church is a member of the Association of Evangelical Free Churches .

The Mennonites emerged as part of the Anabaptist movement during the Reformation in the 16th century . The regional focus of the Anabaptists at that time was Switzerland , southwest Germany , East Frisia and the Netherlands . In addition to the Mennonites, the Hutterites also developed from the first Anabaptist communities, who emigrated from Tyrol to Eastern Europe and later to North America due to the persistent persecution of the Anabaptist movement. Many Mennonites also emigrated. The main focus of Mennonite emigration was the Ukraine and Russia as well as North America ( Mennonite emigration ). From there they scattered all over the world. The Amish split off from the Swiss and Alsatian Mennonites in the 17th century and formed communities in Germany until the 20th century. The Amish now live exclusively in North America. Among the Mennonites settling in Ukraine, the Mennonite Brethren Congregations were formed around 1860 .

In the second half of the 20th century many of the former in the former came Soviet Union living Russian Mennonite back to Germany. Today more than half of the Mennonites living in Germany are of Russian Mennonite origin. The west and south-west of Germany form a certain regional focus.

Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church

Main article: Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church

A predecessor of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church ( SELK ) is the Evangelical Lutheran (Old Lutheran) Church in Prussia, which arose in 1830 in protest against the introduction of the Evangelical Union between Lutherans and Reformed in Prussia through a joint agenda . In 1972 different Lutheran churches with old denominations joined forces to form the SELK. Churches can be found in different sizes all over Germany.


The Pentecostals are partly organized in the Bund Freikirchlicher Pentecostal congregations . This counts 600 congregations with 39,000 baptized and 60,000 members. The structure is synodal and congregational . This union is a member of the Working Group of Christian Churches and of the Evangelical Alliance . The first Pentecostals founded churches in Germany in 1906 . The BFP emerged in 1982 from the working group of Christian communities in Germany (founded in 1947). Since 1988 the popular mission of determined Christians and partly the Ecclesia congregations have been organized in the BFP. In addition to the German-speaking communities, there are also a large number of foreign communities in Germany.

Furthermore, the Church of God Germany KdöR is to be mentioned, as a German branch of one of the largest Pentecostal churches worldwide, the Church of God (Cleveland) . The Church of God has around 7 million members in 178 countries, in Germany there are around 70 congregations and approx. 3,300 members, in Austria 27 congregations and approx. 4,000 members. The Church of God maintains several mission and aid organizations, including the Samaritan Service and the European Theological Seminary (ETS) in Freudenstadt-Kniebis .

Seventh-day Adventists

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany is a guest member of the Association of Evangelical Free Churches and the Working Group of Christian Churches in Germany . In 2007 it had around 36,000 members in around 600 Adventist congregations , some of them with foreign-language church services (mostly South Slavic or Ghanaian congregations). In Möckern - Friedensau in Saxony-Anhalt is the Friedensau Theological College , which has been in Adventist ownership for over a hundred years. The community has many social institutions.

The Seventh-day Adventists have existed in Germany since 1875. They were mainly created by the American missionary John Nevins Andrews and Jakob Erzberger . They found their first followers among the pietistic Awakened in the Bergisches Land . There exist several sabbath holding communities, such as the baptized Christian community of Henry Linderman . Since 1886 missionaries were sent from Germany to the Mennonite colonies and to pietistic Swabian communities in the Caucasus . That is why there are 8,000 Russian-German Adventists in Germany today.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) is in Hesse (since 1953), Berlin (1954), Rhineland-Palatinate (2013), Saxony (2014), North Rhine-Westphalia (2015) and Hamburg (2016) as KdÖR accepted. This community has around 180 parishes and two temples in Germany ( Friedrichsdorf in Hesse and Freiberg in Saxony ).

In 1842 the first Mormon missionary came to the German states. The Germans who converted to this religious community at that time were persecuted and in some cases imprisoned, which is why the majority of Mormons from Germany emigrated to Utah , where many Mormons settled. The first group existed in Hesse-Darmstadt in 1843, the first community was founded in Hamburg in 1852, followed by one in Dresden in 1855. In 1929 the first parish hall on German soil was built in Selbongen (today Zełwągi , Poland ).

Today this community has around 40,000 followers in Germany.

Old Catholic Church

The Old Catholic Church in Germany has around 15,900 members (as of the end of 2016). Your bishopric and the only Old Catholic theology seminar are in Bonn . The church is most widespread in North Rhine-Westphalia and in southern Baden . It arose in Germany in the wake of the 1st Vatican Council in opposition to the primacy of jurisdiction and the infallibility dogma of the Roman Catholic Church . The Old Catholic Church in Germany belongs to the Utrecht Union , an association of European Old Catholic churches.


Anti-Trinitarian standpoints were already represented during the Reformation, for example by Hans Denck or later by Christoph Ostorodt . At times there was a circle of anti-Trinitarian scholars at the University of Altdorf . However, unitary church structures could not develop due to persecution. Only with the establishment of the religious community of free faith , which originated from the free religious movement of the 19th century, did Unitarian congregations also exist in Germany. While some of them do not see themselves as Christian, other Unitarian groups stick to this position.


The DITIB Merkez Mosque ("Central Mosque") in Duisburg is one of the largest mosques in Germany.

Main article: Islam in Germany
Main article: Islamic organizations in Germany

Islam is the second most adherent religion after Christianity: According to projections from the study "How many Muslims live in Germany" (2016), between 4.4 and 4.7 million Muslims live in Germany, which is around 5.5% of the total population corresponds. Around 45% of Muslims are German citizens ; 55% have a foreign nationality. The number of German converts to Islam, which is not taken into account in the MLD study, is unknown, since a conversion to Islam is only rarely documented in writing and there is no corresponding register. However, it is assumed that their proportion is small in relation to the Muslim immigrant population.

In terms of denomination, the group of Muslims is divided as follows: The largest religious group among Muslims in Germany are the Sunnis with 74%. With a share of 13%, the Alevis form the second largest denominational group, followed by the Shiite 12 with around 7%. Furthermore, small groups belong to the Ahmadiyya , the Sufi , the Ibadis and other, unspecified faiths.

In terms of geographical origin, the Muslims in Germany are very heterogeneous : around two thirds (2.5 to 2.7 million) have Turkish roots, and between 496,000 and 606,000 people come from the south-eastern European countries of Bosnia-Herzegovina , Bulgaria and Albania . According to the MLD study, an average of 331,000 come from the Middle East and 280,000 from North Africa . The remaining foreign Muslims come from countries in South and Central Asia, the rest of Africa or from the successor states of the Soviet Union.

The Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (DİTİB) has the highest level of representation among the Islamic organizations in Germany. While she herself states that she represents over 70% of the Muslims living in Germany, according to the MLD extrapolation, only 16% felt represented by her. Among Muslims with a Turkish migration background, the value was 23%. If the actual target group is taken into account, the Alevi Congregation (AABF) has a comparatively high degree of representation.

The oldest German mosque still in existence today , the Wilmersdorfer Mosque , was built in Berlin in 1924 on behalf of the Ahmadiyya religious community . The Fazle-Omar-Mosque in Hamburg-Stellingen is the first mosque in Germany built after the Second World War.


Main article: Jews in Germany

According to REMID , the municipalities and regional associations affiliated to the Central Council of Jews had 100,437 members in 2014 . However, the number of Jews who are not affiliated with any Jewish community is estimated at around 100,000, so that around 200,000 Jews, mostly of Eastern European origin, live in Germany today . The last German census assumes only 83,430 members in Jewish communities.

The two largest Jewish institutions are the Central Council of Jews and the Union of Progressive Jews . The first Jewish communities existed on the left bank of the Rhine as early as the 1st century AD . This makes Judaism the oldest religious community still in existence in Germany today . They were the ancestors of the Ashkenazim . In the first centuries after Christianity, attacks on the Jewish population were very rare. Under Charlemagne they were citizens of equal value. However, this peaceful period ended with the Crusades . In the course of the 13th century rioting against Jews increased, also because of the emerging plague , for which the Jews were partially held responsible. Pogroms became more and more frequent , so that many Jews decided to emigrate to Poland . Nevertheless, not all Jews were expelled in the following centuries, and many also moved back to Germany from Eastern Europe. At the end of the 18th century, the Enlightenment and reform movement emerged in German Judaism ( Haskala ). Probably the most famous representative was Moses Mendelssohn . This movement called for the emancipation of Jews and their full assimilation in society. Complete legal equality of the Jews in Germany did not take place until 1871. Between this time and 1933 Jews were relatively well integrated in Germany. From 1933, especially from 1938, the Jews were persecuted again. In the first phase after the Reichspogromnacht alone , 1,400 Jewish communities were closed, around 400 Jews were publicly murdered and 30,000 men were deported to a concentration camp . The total number of Jews murdered in Europe during the Holocaust is about 6,000,000 people.

After 1945, the first communities were re-established in many large cities. Many Jews who were actually considering emigrating, but also returnees from exile (an example: Paul Spiegel ), stayed in Germany permanently. New synagogues were built in many German cities. Since 1989, many Eastern European Jews (mainly from Ukraine , Russia , Moldova and Uzbekistan ) came to Germany as quota refugees and strengthened the Jewish communities. The largest community is currently the Israelitische Kulturgemeinde München und Oberbayern and has more than 10,000 members.


The Buddhist House in Berlin-Frohnau (2009)

Main article: Buddhism in Germany

The Buddhists are in different denominational Christians and Muslims to the third largest religious community in Germany. It is assumed that there are around 270,000 Buddhists in Germany. Most of the Buddhists living in Germany belong to the Theravada school , especially from Sri Lanka ; to Vajrayana , (often referred to as Tibetan Buddhism ); to Nichiren Buddhism , mainly from Japan and to Zen Buddhism, also mainly from Japan. Most of the various Buddhist schools in Germany are members of the German Buddhist Union eV (DBU) . Around 59,000 Thai people live in Germany who follow the Theravada schooling system and, with a total of 48 Thai temples ( Wat ), are the largest Buddhist community of Asian origin in Germany. (December 31, 2015)


Main article: Hinduism in Germany

An estimated 100,000 Hindus live in Germany. Most of them are Tamil Hindus from Sri Lanka , around 42,000 to 45,000; approx. 35,000 to 40,000 come from India ; Of German or European origin, around 7,500 and around 5,000 Hindus are originally from Afghanistan . There are also Hindus in Germany who are followers of the so-called New Religious Movements or youth religions , such as the Hare Krishna Movement or Transcendental Meditation . These relatively young religious communities are ascribed to Neo-Induism .

Christian interdenominational associations

Many of the churches mentioned have come together at both national and regional level while maintaining their autonomy. The important associations and working groups include:

Interreligious Dialogue

The interreligious dialogue is conducted on the one hand by the official representatives of some religions, but it is also maintained by specially created organizations. Examples are:

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Church statistics of the dioceses in Germany, annual survey 2019
  2. EKD short report 2019
  3. Increase in leaving the church
  4. Also in the Protestant church there was a dramatic increase in the number of people leaving the church. Retrieved June 26, 2020 .
  5. Landeskirchr Anhalt's current 2019 membership figures
  6. The three city-states in the north (Hamburg, Bremen and Berlin) are, like the federal states in the east, meanwhile mostly without a denomination
  7. Germany Catholic South and West
  8. a b BAMF study of December 14, 2016 , accessed on December 15, 2016.
  9. a b Development of religious affiliations fowid ( Memento of the original from March 3, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 78 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  10. REMID
  11. a b Number of members: Buddhism , in: Religionswissenschaftliche Medien- und Informationsdienst e. V. (Abbreviation: REMID) , accessed on February 4, 2016
  12. a b Number of members: Hinduism , in: Religionswissenschaftliche Medien- und Informationsdienst e. V. (Abbreviation: REMID) , accessed on February 4, 2016
  13. ^ Membership numbers: Yeziden , in: Religionswissenschaftliche Medien- und Informationsdienst e. V. (Abbreviation: REMID) , accessed on May 7, 2017
  14. ^ Membership numbers : Others , in: Religionswissenschaftliche Medien- und Informationsdienst e. V. (Abbreviation: REMID) , accessed on May 7, 2017
  15. a b The official annual report of the Bahá'í community in Germany counts exactly 6,019 registered members in 2013; However, Brockhaus Religionen assumes in 2007 that less than half of all Baha'i living in Germany belong to the official community.
  16. a b FOWID Religious Affiliations 2019
  17. a b c d e f g h i REMID: Membership numbers : Protestantism. Retrieved January 19, 2019 .
  18. ^ Territory and population - belonging to a public religious community ( Memento from February 16, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Census database
  19. ^ German Bishops' Conference: Church Statistics 2019 . ( [accessed on July 19, 2020]).
  20. Christians in Germany Statistics on the Evangelical Church in Germany. Retrieved July 19, 2020 .
  21. ^ New Apostolic Church in Germany: Figures, data, facts from Germany. Accessed on January 19, 2019 (as of January 1, 2018).
  23. Central Council of Jews in Germany: A representation for all Jews. Retrieved on August 2, 2019 (as of 2017).
  25. ^ APD: Increase in membership at the Bund Freikirchlicher Pfingstgemeinden. Retrieved on June 11, 2017 (as of May 24 , 2017 ).
  26. a b Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Facts and Figures. Retrieved January 16, 2018 .
  29. ↑ Number of members: Catholicism , in: Religionswissenschaftliche Medien- und Informationsdienst e. V. (Abbreviation: REMID) , accessed on February 4, 2016
  30. SGI-D: SOKA GAKKAI INTERNATIONAL-DEUTSCHLAND. February 2020, accessed February 24, 2020 .
  31. Annual Report of the ZfkA 2017, PDF, page 34
  32. Årsberetning 2017 (annual report), PDF, page 13
  33. Our congregation was founded in Wiesbaden in 1988 as the first and so far the only one in Germany. (...) We have around 5,000 adult congregation members, 450 of them live in Wiesbaden .
  34. The Apostolic Community currently maintains 50 parishes in Germany with approx. 4,300 members plus children. As of February 7, 2018
  35., BELEIDSPLAN 2015–2018, page 14, point 3: "De NKiD kent een more dan honderdjarige geschiedenis en telt momenteel ongeveer 3000 leden."
  37. Eldaring e. V. ( Memento of the original from December 8, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  38. Der Tagesspiegel : Mosque in Wilmersdorf: Complete with dome , from August 29, 2001, accessed on August 8, 2015
  39. Church membership figures as of December 31, 2019. Accessed June 29, 2020 .
  40. ^ GDR - fight against the church. MDR, 2019, accessed August 6, 2019 .
  41. Eurobarometer 90.4 (December 2018): Attitudes of Europeans towards Biodiversity, Awareness and Perceptions of EU customs, and Perceptions of Antisemitism (via GESIS: Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences). December 2018, accessed August 6, 2019 .
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  43. a b c d Dietmar Pieper: Christians and their religion: Fewer and fewer Germans believe in God . In: Spiegel Online . April 19, 2019 ( [accessed April 20, 2019]).
  44. Faith: This world and the hereafter. Spiegel, 1967, Retrieved November 28, 2019 .
  45. Only every fourth person is a Christian. Spiegel, 1992, accessed November 28, 2019 .
  46. God or monster. Spiegel, 1996, accessed November 28, 2019 .
  47. Desperately wanted believers. Spiegel / Rolf Dober, 2005, accessed on November 28, 2019 .
  48. Faith as a patchwork. Spiegel, 2005, accessed November 28, 2019 .
  49. Christian Faith in Germany, 2019. Spiegel / FOWID, 2019, accessed on November 28, 2019 .
  50. German Bishops' Conference: Flyer Key Data Church Statistics 2016
  51. Flyer Key Data on Church Life in the Dioceses of Germany 2016 (Church Statistics). (PDF file) German Bishops' Conference , accessed on July 21, 2017 .
  52. ^ Catholic Church in Germany - statistical data. (PDF file; 369 kB) German Bishops' Conference , p. 1 , accessed on July 18, 2014 .
  53. Entries ... and exits from the Catholic Church PDF  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  54. Numbers and facts on church life 2017, p. 4. (PDF) Retrieved on July 21, 2017 .
  55. a b Church membership figures as of December 31, 2015. (PDF) Evangelical Church in Germany , January 2017, accessed on June 18, 2017 (German).
  56. Never before have so many left the Catholic Church. In: . July 17, 2015, accessed December 3, 2015 .
  57. ^ Hans-Ulrich Wehler : German history of society. , Vol. 5, 1949-1990, CH Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-52171-3 , pp. 366-369.
  58. Orthodox Church in Germany ( Memento from February 12, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), German Orthodox Trinity Monastery in Bodenwerder - Buchhagen
  59. ^ New Apostolic Church in Germany | Numbers, data, facts. Retrieved April 16, 2019 .
  60. ^ Hermann Hage: Amish Mennonites in Bavaria . Regensburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-939112-45-7 .
  61. Seventh Taqs Adventists - Facts and Figures ( Memento of July 15, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  62. ^ Church of Jesus Christ corporation under public law in Hamburg . In: . December 12, 2016 ( [accessed February 13, 2017]).
  63. Annual statistics 2016. Catholic Diocese of Old Catholics in Germany, April 3, 2017, accessed on April 4, 2017 : “In 2016, the number of members of the Catholic Diocese of Old Catholics in Germany increased. According to the evaluation of the pastoral care reports now available, it was 15,910. "
  64. ^ Unitarian - Religious community of free belief
  65. Christian Unitarians
  66. Unitarian Church Berlin ( Memento of the original from February 17, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  67. Federal Office for Migration and Refugees: Muslim Life in Germany, June 2009, p. 11.
  68. Federal Office for Migration and Refugees: Muslim Life in Germany, June 2009, p. 58.
  69. Federal Office for Migration and Refugees: Muslim Life in Germany, June 2009, p. 12f.
  70. Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion eV , accessed on July 22, 2011.
  71. ^ Membership numbers : Judaism , in: Religionswissenschaftliche Medien- und Informationsdienst e. V. (Abbreviation: REMID) , accessed on February 4, 2016
  72. Persons by religion (in detail) for Germany ., Accessed on November 9, 2019.
  73. ^ Jewish community in Berlin
  74. ^ Jewish communities in Germany are losing members | DOMRADIO.DE. Retrieved July 19, 2020 .


Web links