Talk:Religion in Germany

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Religion (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Religion, a project to improve Wikipedia's articles on Religion-related subjects. Please participate by editing the article, and help us assess and improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the wikiproject page for more details.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Germany (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Germany, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Germany on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Untitled (2011)[edit]

The article should explain that the opinion of the mainstream churchs about cults and new religious movements is influential in Germany. Otherwise it sounds like just an opinion of one religous group about another religious group which should be removed because irrelevant here. Andries (talk) 06:11, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

To quote from an article: "Those who are concerned about the limitations of religious freedom in Germany should, therefore, consider not only the structure of the legal and political system; it is also necessary to pay attention to the cultural dimensions of society, and to the attitudes and moods that affect social action and the working of the institutions." (;content). The mainstream churches' opinions are politically influential for the religious history of the country. To really explain this one may start with the Thirty Years' War. Or learn about the rights of the mainline churches as statutory organizations, e. g. to give religious education at state schools. Just one example, German kids have to prepare presentations about Sekten for religion or ethics class and attending these classes is mandatory. --Rafflesiapricei (talk) 19:20, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons[edit]

I don't know how religious science views them, but public opinion and mainline churches classify those groups as Sekten rather than as Christians in Germany. For example [Netzwerk Sektenausstieg e.V. - Dokumentation und Forum über Zeugen Jehovas, Mormonen und andere Sekten] --Rafflesiapricei (talk) 13:18, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Hmm... that particular page doesn't mention Mormons and JWs at all, but this page from the same group categorizes the organizations they cover into "Zeugen Jehovas", "Mormonen", "Sekten", and "Neuapostolische Kirche", suggesting they do not consider JW, Mormons, and NAC to be Sekten strictu sensu. Angr (talk) 18:33, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
The page lists "Zeugen Jehovas", "Mormonen" and "Neuapostolische Kirche", as specific examples of Sekten and does most of its work providing critical information especially about these groups . If you have a page on apples, pears and fruit, it doesn't say that apples and pears are not fruit.
The "theological" definition of Sekte [1] "A religious body, especially one that has separated from a larger denomination" seems to correspond to sect. The "common" definition referring to "groups or organizations using subtle methods of mind control to make people dependent of them" seems to correspond to cult. Sekte means both. "Zeugen Jehovas", "Mormonen" and "Neuapostolische Kirche" are Sekten in the theological definition and are publicly agreed to be Sekten in the common definition too. Listing only Hare Krishnas and Ananda Marga as examples of Sekten implies that groups that refer to themselves as Christian cannot be labelled as Sekte. Especially with Jehovah's Witnesses this is not the case.--Rafflesiapricei (talk) 12:46, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
There are cultural differences in addition to linguistic ones. In the United States (and maybe other English-speaking countries as well), I don't think most people would seriously consider the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons cults (as opposed to, say, the Branch Davidians and the Peoples Temple, both of which are nominally Christian but definitely considered cults), but in Germany the JWs and the Mormons are not as well known and not as widespread and may therefore be regarded with more skepticism than in the U.S. (If you consider Mormons Christians, then the LDS Church is the 4th largest Christian denomination in the U.S.; if you don't consider them Christians, then they're the largest non-Christian religion in the U.S., there being more Mormons than Jews there.) The Scientologists are also widely considered a cult in Germany (and they don't fit the "separated from a larger denomination" part of the theological definition of Sekte), while views on them vary more greatly in the U.S. So from the point of view of the English speakers likely to be reading this article, it may be jarring to see JWs and Mormons called cults, even if that seems quite natural to Germans. (And yes, if someone listed "Apples, pears, and fruit" on a page, I would think they were suggesting that apples and pears aren't fruit. They should say "Apples, pears, and other fruit".) Angr (talk) 18:11, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
The term "Sekte" (with a massive negative connotation) has been uses for virtually every group not having more than a billion members worldwide – sometimes even for Buddhists or orthodox Christs. Social expectation in the 1990s was not to care about religion, while practicing catholics or protestants were seen as "people stuck in the past"; practicing another religion was just something strange. Over the last about 10 years, these things have changed a lot – there's no more talk about "Sekten" and about every religious belief is accepted, as long as the members only make rules for them self. With one exception: Scientology is still seen as "the evil itself", but is also far often a topic in media. --TheK (talk) 06:38, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Map of Christian denominations 2008[edit]

I don't think this map is very accurate because the lines between catholicism and protestantism don't follow the borders of modern German states. For example, the state of Baden-Württemberg is roughly half predominantly catholic and half predominantly EKD protestant. I think this one is more accurate: -- (talk) 10:56, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

The 1895 map further down the page does a better job of showing exactly where Catholicism and Protestantism are most prevalent. I think it's still pretty accurate within the boundaries of modern Germany, but it doesn't reflect the numbers of irreligious people. Angr (talk) 12:44, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
There is now a new map with data from 2011 which also shows the non-religious areas: (talk) 22:32, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
This map: is not accurate, it was made by someone. It is pretty good, since it shows the areas of a religious group's concentration. The 1895 map can't be used. A lot has happened since 1895, including the Flight and expulsion of Germans, secularization of East Germany, etc.Ernio48 (talk) 19:39, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

Religious Statistics[edit]

There were several estimates used on this page to detail the religious denominations in Germany, many of the sources contradicted eachother. I have updated the figures with data from the 2011 census. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sdg198 (talkcontribs) 09:56, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia does not give piriority to a single source and using estimates from different sources makes article more informative. This is the uniqueness of wikipedia. I have informed User:Iryna Harpy and she will take the notice.Septate (talk) 15:05, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I support the edits made by Sdg198. The official 2011 census appears to be more reliable than IPSOS MORI or REMID. JimRenge (talk) 18:51, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that previously the various citations used in the same paragraph were contradictory. One source says 4 million Muslims for example, the next one says 4.3, the next one says less than 2.1 million. I also think that estimates from statistical agencies are less accurate than the official census. Sdg198 (talk) 19:19, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
@Septate: It is entirely dependent on context. Each article and appropriate sources should be treated according to factors impacting on the quality and veracity of the article. In this instance, are you disputing the German census as a reliable source? If so, why? 2011 is relatively recent, so I would prefer to rely on it as being the tertiary text. Unlike articles such as Religion in Russia (where it has been argued realistically that the census had omitted ethnic groups and regions) or Religion in Ukraine (where there has been no census since 2001 and the 2008 census keeps getting bumped up and is currently predicted to be set for 2016), I don't see a legitimate reason for supplementing or, in this case, replacing a valid, reliable recent source which gleaned its statistical information from all inhabitants of the country rather than sample group data or any methodologies which have come up with such disparate figures. How would you propose to handle the percentages for other religious groups or the irreligious? If the total number is above or below accounting for 100% of the population, how would you adjust the figures? --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:45, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Different methodologies (such as the exact phrasing of the question) are inherently going to give different answers, so some diversity among polls and census is expected. Also there is a tendency in a census for religious affiliation to generally be overestimated by the head of the household, Second Quantization (talk) 20:52, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, Second Quantization. Statistical analysis is subject to being problematic but, as census statistics appear to be preferred for articles in Wikipedia for demographic information, at least there is assurance of some form of consistency in slightly bolstered estimates per nation-state. I've noticed that independent polls don't qualify 'random' selection groups (were those selected gleaned from a lunch time cross section in a working class area; rural or urban groups; the shopping centre in middle to upper income areas during working hours), or examples of the questionnaires (leading; confusing; presumptuous). Unless there are identifiable oversights in the census questionnaire itself, or regions being overlooked, I'd deem it WP:UNDUE to introduce additional sources unless it's attributed WP:INTEXT and serves a necessary function such as pointing out extremely large variations in estimates. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 01:08, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Church tax figures[edit]

Are there any sources for the church tax figures? This would surely provide a good estimate of adherence within some church groups, and wouldnt supplement other census figures Second Quantization (talk) 20:54, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Every state has it's own "Kirchensteuergesetz". In most law's every Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts can collect the church tax, but not every church collect them (e.g. freechurches) --Nandus (talk) 11:26, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Church statistics[edit]

Septate, could we agree on the fact that REMID and the official church data should be kept are high quality primary sources? Some others of your change seemed ok, please add them again. BR Ulrich Nillurcheier (talk) 17:37, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Pie chart[edit]

Nillurcheier, I believe we can cite only one reference for the pie chart, either REMID or FOWID. JimRenge (talk) 17:50, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

Since there is an ongoing discussion on which data to use, some information should be given on this topic. FOWID is a small clearly atheistic oriented group. They don't do original research and their data are not in line with official church data. REMID is a university institute, regularly checking and publishing data for over 100 religious groups in Germany. Hence, REMID data should be used in cases of doubt. But for the 2 large churches, the solution is easy. They publish their yearly membership data, which are of course the highest achievable data quality.
For Islam, there are large differences, but 5% is the most plausible and most often cited figure. In a first step, I will source and add the official church data. BR Ulrich Nillurcheier (talk) 08:56, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
I do think some form of decision needs to be made. Having both charts in place is actually quite distracting. If it's truly understood that both REMID and FOWID need to be represented, could it not be done as a single bar graph for a comparative representation. I don't think two pie charts serve as useful visual cues for readers. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:49, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Both REMID and FOWID use the same sources for the major churches but in this case the data for FOWID are outdated (2014). I would suggest we keep the REMID pie chart and put the FOWID in text. Vargmali (talk) 01:11, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, having checked into the sources, I'd also suggest that REMID is probably a more neutral source. Any variance in stats can go into the body of the article where it is deemed to be WP:DUE. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:24, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Nillurcheier, REMID is not a university institute, it is a "eingetragener Verein" (registered association).
I agree with Iryna Harpy, REMID appears to be a more neutral source. However, I have some questions about the REMID pie chart: Are the percentages in the pie chart published by REMID in this way? This link does not report percentages and does not mention the "no religion" group. REMID sells graphics with an "overview Germany 2013" but I do not have access to these graphics and can not verify the numbers. Why are the EKD and Roman Catholic church cited together with REMID in the pie chart; is this a synthesis of sources? What year is the pie chart referring to? JimRenge (talk) 01:02, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, I realise that I didn't do my homework on REMID properly. The only charts I can access pertain to Spirituality or Global stats. The three refs being used for the pie chart do actually amount to WP:SYNTH rather than WP:CALC. In comparison, the FOWID pdf addresses the entire subject of this article, therefore - even assuming we can obtain verifiable stats taken at unknown points in time from separate articles from REMID - would it be edifying or a breach of WP:NOR. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:37, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
FOWID does not produce the numbers by themselves but they use many sources that from what I have gathered are mostly neutral or even the churches themselves. Vargmali (talk) 14:10, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Firstly, JimRenge, you are right on REMID, being an Eingetragener Verein, not a university institute, though they reside in a well known university town. Sorry for that. Secondly, REMID is offering basic data for free, however selling their overview diagrams, including pie charts. Data in the wiki pie chart using percentages have to be calculated with the help of proper population data. I hope, doing this basic math is not original research, since these are the most reliable data I know. BR Ulrich Nillurcheier (talk) 16:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I've struggled with the REMID data more than once, when I've suspected vandalism. The site might carry impeccable data, but the cited web page doesn't show any figures at all and it isn't obvious which figures have been assembled from the various sub-pages and by what population figure they've been divided to produce the pie chart. Perhaps the REMID figures and the overall population figure should be tabulated in the article, with absolute values and specific citations for those absolute values, as well as the the calculated percentages. Otherwise the basis for the pie chart isn't transparent, goes beyond WP:CALC, and exposes us to vandalism.

I am also rather uncomfortable with using data provided by the various religious organisations. Do they all use the same methodology and are all of them free from any desire to present the most optimistic figures? I would rather we were using census data. NebY (talk) 17:39, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Essentially, it's been my experience that census figures are preferred unless it's known (via RS) that there are problems with the data (i.e., Religion in Russia), or where there hasn't been a census for well over a decade (i.e., Religion in Ukraine where the last census was held in 2001). While variations in data can certainly be addressed within the body of the article, I have to agree with NebY that it does make articles far more prone to vandalism, and makes it a lot more difficult for other editors to verify stats. Are we actually dealing with profound variations in estimates, or is it really the equivalent of to a case of nuance and not that important to turn it into a headache. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:20, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
The 2011 census is problematic because it reports only membership in EKD and the catholic church (Körperschaften öffentlichen Rechts). Before the start of the census, Klaus Pötzsch, speaker of the Statistisches Bundesamt stated : "The consequence of this [questionnaire] is that the group of atheists (but also of other religions) is not detectable in the census results. The results of the census will be that we get information about large religious organizations (explicitly mentioned in the questionnaire) but know nothing about the spread of other religions and of atheism." [2] JimRenge (talk) 01:17, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I hadn't realised the 2011 census had that problem. Thank you. That's startling and worth describing in the Religion in Germany#2011 Census section. Meanwhile, that seems to bring me back to wanting to see a table of referenced absolute values with the percentages shown in the pie chart. NebY (talk) 08:58, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, that does come as a surprise. Much as I'd be interested to know whether this is a reflection of growth of reactionary tendencies in EU governments, it's off topic for this talk page. But, yes, that makes it all the more important for the sourcing to be clear. There's a bright line between where CALC ends and SYNTH begins. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
The Religion in Germany#2011 Census section clearly states: Evangelical Church in Germany: 24,328,100 or 30.3% of the German population. So if REMID is more accurate, why do we have FOWID chart on top of the page?Ernio48 (talk) 20:04, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Religion in Germany. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

YesY An editor has reviewed this edit and fixed any errors that were found.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 19:10, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Correct, but replaced with active link to the info. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:44, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Christian and Irreligious manipulation of correct data[edit]

Most statisticians are Christians and non-believers in Germany. Their data are usually correct. The treat Christian denominations as separate values, but merge the 1. religiously indifferent, 2. atheists, 3. agnostics, 4. other non-believers under one label, the label non-religious. This is pure manipulation because agnostics and atheist separately occupy a larger percentage than the 5.2% of Muslims (not all Sunnis and Shia are friendly to each other neither accept that merge). Many (but of course not all) antimetaphysical atheists are ideologically as distant to agnostics (which are open to the possibility of antimetaphysics or other inherently non logical and analyzable cosmic mechanism) as to other metaphysicalists. This is Wikipedia and not a German statistical office. Correct data if manipulated lead to wrong conclusions, and in the case of Germany to deaths, because they don't try to understand the citizen but to simplify and manipulate him/her because they believe "simple is better". "Not to care" isn't better and it doesn't seem functional either with so many deaths.

Please notice that Atheists and Christians claim they are different, but statistically are covariants. Most neo-atheists (of no Communist background) mainly are of Protestant and secondarily of other Christian denominations, even if we examine it proportionally. This "correct but manipulated" selection of the religious components, unwittingly acts as another brickwall (and not as many separate bricks) against Muslims. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:587:4102:3800:281D:B91:C29E:E51D (talk) 04:38, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

please sign your comment. Do you have any other or more detailed data, if yes, please share! --Nillurcheier (talk) 08:43, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm a bit concerned that the pie chart is mingling data given it lists three sources; however, if it is using tax registration info, we have no way of differentiating among the people who aren't registered for any church. If we use survey info, a lot depends on how the questions are asked. Both surveys and registration info should be in the article (but at most only one pie chart) Erp (talk) 15:19, 24 July 2016 (UTC)