POPULATION81,305,856 (July 2012 est.)
GDP PER CAPITA$38,400 (2011 est.)
RELIGIONSProtestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%
ALSO IN EUROPE AND RUSSIAAlbania
AT THE CENTER
Germany possesses an increasingly secular society and a thoroughly organized religious sector, with the Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches as its largest denominations. Since the Protestant Reformation (1517-1648), the German nation has been divided 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 the state atheism of previously Soviet-controlled East Germany. Christian church membership has decreased in recent decades, particularly among Protestants. Germany has 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 give religious instruction in public schools. There is a growing Muslim community as a result of decades of immigration, mainly from Turkey, which still lacks full state recognition.