Irreligion in Germany

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
2008 map of Christian denominations in the states of Germany.Majority of population is:
  member of the Roman Catholic church
  member of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD)
  either member of the Roman Catholic church or the EKD with EKD the largest
  either member of the Roman Catholic church or the EKD with Roman Catholic being the largest denomination
  mainly not religious, largest Christian minority is EKD

Irreligion is prevalent in Germany. As of 2009, more Germans are non-believers in Eastern Germany than Western Germany.[1][2] When taken overall, Germany is one of the least religious countries.[3][4]

Eastern Germany is perhaps the least religious region in the world.[5][6] Atheism is embraced by young and old, though even more so by younger Germans.[7] One study in September 2012 was unable to find a single person under 28 who believed in a god.[8] The popular explanation for this is the aggressive state atheist policies of German Democratic Republic's Socialist Unity Party of Germany. However, the enforcement of atheism existed only for the first few years. After that, the state allowed churches to have a relatively high level of autonomy.[9]

Also, the same high numbers of atheists don't exist in the other European countries that have a history of state communism, except for the Czech Republic. Another explanation could be the secular movements during the Weimar Republic which were strongest in the states of Thuringia and Saxony.

Christianity still has a notable presence in the rest of Germany, though there is a non-religious majority in Hamburg.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Only the old embrance God". Spiegel. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  2. ^ "East Germany world's most Godless area". The Local. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  3. ^ "Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism". Gallup. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  4. ^ "Eastern Germany: the most godless place on Earth | Peter Thompson | Comment is free |". London: Guardian. 2012-09-22. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  5. ^ "WHY EASTERN GERMANY IS THE MOST GODLESS PLACE ON EARTH". Die Welt. 2012. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  6. ^ "East Germany the "most atheistic" of any region". Dialog International. 2012. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  7. ^ "Only the Old Embrace God in Former East Germany". Spiegel Online. 2012. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  8. ^ Thompson, Peter (2012-09-22). "East German atheism can be seen as a form of continuing political and regional identification – and a taste of the future.". London: Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  9. ^ "Eastern Germany: the most godless place on Earth". theguardian. 2012. Retrieved 2009-05-24.