In the Archdiocese of Berlin, more people left the Catholic Church last year than ever before. A total of 10,748 Catholics turned their backs on their church, according to statistics released Monday. “This is the highest number since we started collecting the data,” said Archdiocese spokesman Stefan Förner.
Overall, the Archdiocese, which includes Berlin and parts of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and a few communities in Saxony-Anhalt, still had 384,324 church members as of December 31, 2021.
That is 10,871 fewer than a year earlier. This net loss includes deaths, as well as entries and baptisms, in addition to exits.
In 2020, the statistics had shown 7,287 people leaving the church. In 2019 there were 10,068 resignations and in 2018 exactly 8165.
Förner pointed out that the figures for 2021 should be seen in connection with the first pandemic year 2020, in which church life was somewhat suspended in connection with corona restrictions. Some exits, but also baptisms or weddings may have been postponed to 2021.
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Nationwide, 359,338 Catholics turned their backs on their church last year, as the German Bishops’ Conference (DBK) announced on Monday. This is also a negative record.