Most Germans find religion unimportant, survey shows
September 23, 2021
A significant majority of Germans say religion plays no role in their life, a poll has shown. Fewer than one in eight adults believe that faith makes the world a fairer place, although younger people were more positive.
Only 12% said they thought religion could make the world a better place, with just a quarter saying it had any political significance.
Year after year, disillusioned congregation members have been leaving Germany's Catholic and Protestant churches in droves. The result is that only about half of all people belong to one of the country's big Christian faiths.
Eastern Germans less devout
Some 30% of respondents described themselves as "devout" or "very devout," while 35% said they were "not devout at all."
The eastern states of Germany, in particular, have a high proportion of people who describe themselves as "not at all religious," the foundation said.
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Meanwhile, the regions with most people describing themselves as devout were the southern German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg (35%) and western states (32%). Only about 21% of people in eastern states gave this description.
In contrast, some 61% of Germans said the religion was either "not important," or "not at all important."
Young less emphatic, more positive
Younger people were less likely to give a decisive statement about how important religion was to them.
About 15% of 18- to 29-year-olds gave no answer or said they didn't know. Only about 5% of 30- to 54-year-olds responded this way, with the figure falling to 3% among those over 55.
The survey suggested younger people were more upbeat than others in their assessment of the role of faith.
Some 16% of young people agreed with the thesis: "The religions of this world contribute to making the world more just."
That compared with about 12% of people across all age groups. Well over half disagreed, and 26% were undecided on the issue.