Another 400,000 people left Germany’s Catholic Church last year, but the pace slowed from 2022

(AP News).

Another 400,000 people formally left the Catholic Church in Germany last year, though the number was down from a record set in 2022 as church leaders struggle to put a long-running scandal over abuse by clergy behind them and tackle calls for reform, official figures showed Thursday. The German Bishops’ Conference said that 402,694 people left the church in 2023. That was down from 522,821 the previous year, but still the second-highest figure so far. At the same time, 1,559 people joined the church and another 4,127 rejoined — in both cases, broadly similar to the numbers from 2022. In Germany, people who are formally members of a church pay a so-called church tax that helps finance it in addition to the regular taxes the rest of the population pays. If they register their departure with local authorities, they no longer have to pay that. There are some exemptions for low earners, jobless, retirees, students and others.

Continue reading..