Facts about Germany 2015 2015 - Page 134

132 | 133 SOCIETY TOPIC FREEDOM OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP The religious landscape in Germany is members, they encompass the majority of shaped by increasing plurality and secular- evangelical Christians. 34 percent of the isation. 58.8 percent of the German popula- population does not profess to a particular tion confesses to one of the two major faith. As a consequence of the ageing mem- Christian faiths, organised in the 27 Cath- bership and high levels of people leaving the olic dioceses and German Bishops’ Confer- Christian churches, the number of believers ence and the Protestant regional churches is falling. In 2014, 218,000 people left the under the umbrella organisation Evangel- Catholic Church alone. The low number of ical Church in Germany (EKD). believers in east Germany is particularly striking. The Catholic Church, with just under 24 million members in 12,000 parishes, is part Islam is gaining in significance for reli- of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church gious life owing to migration. There are an headed by the Pope. The EKD is a commun- estimated four million Muslims in Ger- ity of 20 independent evangelical regional many from 50 different nations, but there is churches of the Lutheran, Reformed and no central survey. Significant Muslim com- United confessions. With around 23 million munities have formed in many cities. The German Islam Conference established in 2006 provides an official framework for exchange LIST ∙ Catholic diocese with the most members: Archdiocese of Cologne with 2,035,000 Catholics between Muslims and the German state. Jewish life in Germany, which was entirely destroyed after the Holocaust, has been revived since the end of the Cold War thanks to migrants from the former USSR. Today ∙ Ev