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Religion is still relevant as churches lose members

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Germany's two major Christian churches both recorded a large drop in membership last year. This is a trend that has persisted for a long time, though in 2019, for a change, more Catholics left the church than Protestants. Overall,more than 540,000 Christians turned their back on organized religion. Not since the early 1990s have membership numbers fallen so drastically.

Just over half of all people living in Germany — 43.3 million people, to be exact — are still members of either the Protestant or Catholic church. But that's a decline of about 5 million compared to 10 years ago. Church membership is also falling because the number of church members dying far surpasses the number of baptisms.

Keeping track of figures

Statistics for the Catholic Church show that the drop in membership was 26.2% higher than in 2018. The decline is most pronounced in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, which include proud dioceses with a long tradition, such as Münster, Osnabrück, Paderborn, Trier and Cologne.

Conservative figures, such as certain German clergy in........

© Deutsche Welle