Germany’s faith in the nation is at an all-time low
Germany’s growing religious divide is the result of a deep, enduring mistrust of religion, a study has found.
Germany’s faith is at its lowest point since the Nazis came to power in 1933, and it’s more likely to be at its highest point since a 2011 census showed a whopping 87% of Germans did not believe in God.
Despite the country’s long and bloody history of persecution and discrimination, German society is largely in the dark about what motivates its people, and the country is currently on track to be the only western European nation where less than half of the population believes in God, according to a new study.
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In a new report, the Pew Research Centre found that a third of Germans surveyed said religion is less important in their lives, with only 26% believing it is an important part of life.
The study found that the gap between the two is narrowing as Germany has become increasingly secular.
“Religious beliefs in Germany have fallen in line with overall public opinion,” the study said.
A new survey found that only 18% of people in Germany believe that religion should play a larger role in people’s lives, compared to 43% in 2015.
This was down from an average of 56% in 2011.
And the number of people who are unsure whether religion is important in life has also fallen, from 33% in 2013 to 21% in 2017.
More: Germany’s population has more atheists than the rest of Europe – the BBC’s Richard Westcott The findings come as the German government is preparing to roll out a national bill on the rights of Christians, a move that many Germans are wary of as it would give a new, broader right to discriminate against non-believers.
Germany already has a law that allows non-Christians to be kicked out of public spaces, including schools and playgrounds, and is considering banning religious books.
But the new study finds that only 10% of the public believes that discrimination against nonbelievers is a serious problem, with the vast majority of Germans agreeing that religious groups have done little to protect people from discrimination.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Germany has made strides in overcoming its religious problems, and that she has been “absolutely convinced that the German people have no intention of changing their religion”.
The poll was carried out by YouGov on behalf of the German Institute for Religious Research (IHR), a non-partisan organisation that promotes interfaith dialogue.