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April 20, 2014  |  About the Berkley Center  |  Directions to the Center  |  Subscribe
 
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Germany

POPULATION

81,305,856 (July 2012 est.)

GDP PER CAPITA

$38,400 (2011 est.)

RELIGIONS

Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%
> source

ALSO IN EUROPE AND RUSSIA

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GermanyPrinter-icon

Europe and Russia

While German society has become increasingly secular, the country remains home to a thoroughly organized religious sector, with the Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches as its largest denominations. The Protestant Reformation (1517-1648) divided Germany along confessional lines, with Catholics concentrated in the south and west and Protestants in the north and east. German reunification in 1990 greatly increased the country’s non-religious population, a legacy of state atheism promoted by Soviet-controlled East Germany. In recent decades, Christian church membership has decreased particularly among Protestants. Germany is home to a small but thriving Jewish population, with a considerable number of émigrés from the former Soviet Union. The Basic Law of Germany guarantees religious freedom and lays out the general structure of church-state relations. Religious communities may organize into “statutory corporations” in order to receive tax privileges and offer religious instruction in schools. There is a growing Muslim community as a result of decades of immigration, mainly from Turkey, which still lacks full state recognition.

ESSAYS ON GERMANY

Religious Politics in the Holy Roman Empire
Unification, World Wars, and Nazism
After the Second World War
Contemporary Affairs
Religious Freedom in Germany
Religion in the German Constitution