Monday, January 29, 2007

Religions of my country - Germany

I guess everyone assumes that Germany as a western European country has a strongly Christian-based religious foundation. And it's true - but this is the country of Martin Luther who tried to smash the hegemony of the catholic church in Rome and divided Germany for hundreds of years in two oppposite camps including some of most brutal religious wars ever fought out 30-Years' War) which wiped out over 50% of the population in some areas.
A lot changed since then - fortunately. Anyway the latest elections showed that region where since the 17th century are more catholic tend to vote for the conservatives while regions that are more evangelic since then vote social democratic. That is even more suprising since in Eastern (former GDR) Germany there is a great loss of faith and an enormous rise of atheism. So much for the Christianity.
The Jews in Germany were over centuries part of the German culture and often before the Holocaust victims of organised violence. While over 6 million European Jews were killed by the Nazi system, it is assumed that "only" 200.000 were Germans. In the 1930s there were about 500.000-600.000 Jews in Germany, today again a rising amount (from the former Soviet Union) of 200.000 are living in Germany.
Quite new religions in Germany are espescially those from the European foreign countries that were brought here by people who came for work during the Wirtschaftswunder. For instance, 3.2 million muslims are living in Germany nowadays and also a lot of Orthodox Christians.
31% Catholics, 31% Protestants, 31% Atheists, 5% Muslims are living in Germany. However, the attendance rate of going to the curch services are particularly low - and even lower in evangelic regions.

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