Churches still matter (even in Germany)
- 05.Jul ‘20
The numbers of “organized believers” drop not only because of “exoduses” but also due to the natural population decline. More and more elderly churchgoers pass away; fewere and fewer babies are born to Christian (or, at least, culturally so) parents; while Turkish immigrants, as one can expect, rarely baptize their children.
The Catholic church of Germany (KKD) is considered the most liberal n the Old World (and this pushes the most conservative away); while the lack of female clergy repels liberals. We are yet to see how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the church, but some experts predict a decline in church attendance.
Religion, however, remains an important part of life for Germans, according to Strack.
There is an observable rise in the number of independent protestant communities like Baptists and Pentecontals, as well as Orthodox ones. Jews and Muslims have fared much better through the quarantine than Catholics or members of the Evangelical church of Germany (EKD).
At the same time, mind you, Baptist, Orthodox, Muslim, etc. communities could boast much fewer organizational resources than KKD or EKD. What the former may lack in a well-developed system of nonprofits, historical buildings, affiliate university departments and school, they make up in grassroot connections typical of extended families. Could this be the secret of their resilience?
In any event, it is in religion that many find meaning and belonging – and Germany, regardless of the all-European secularization trend, is no exception here.
We can also add that expats – be they Romanian or Nigerian of origin – often use church communities as a way to connect with their compatriots. This glues congregations together better than the traditional German “Pfarrgemeinde” model.