Just a Little Common Sense

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The Church is Losing Members at Record Pace

with 7 comments

(via hpd.de)

ITALY. The italian Union of Rational Atheists & Agnostics (UAAR) is reporting that the online form for church-membership termination has been downloaded from their website 5500 times in April alone, compared to an average of 3500 the previous month. This number should be seen as a minimum of actual membership-terminations, since the form can be multiplied and also be obtained elsewhere.

AUSTRIA. In the archdiocese Vienna 14.158 people left the catholic church between January 1st and May 20th 2010. The number exceeds the churches worst expectations.

GERMANY. In Munich, capital of Germany’s most conservative and catholic state, the numbers of people leaving the church have tripled in comparison to the year before. This is remarkable because the local law doesn’t make leaving the church an easy business; writing a letter won’t do. To leave the church, a munich resident has to show up at the office in person and pay a ‘processing fee’ of 30€ (roughly 50 USD). Despite this chicanery, 1909 people left the church in march, 1614 in april. The numbers of january and february are 616 and 684 respectively, which is reoughly the same as the year before.

It seems that the churches handling of the abuse scandal is taking its toll.

Written by Phil

May 22, 2010 at 21:20

7 Responses

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  1. I’m sorry; maybe I’m being a dense Canadian. You say, “a resident has to show up at the office and pay…” At the office of what, exactly?

    The Other Weirdo

    May 31, 2010 at 23:36

    • Sorry for being unclear. It is called the “Einwohnermeldeamt”. My online dictionary (dict.cc) tells me that it’s called “registration office” in english, though having no experience with offices elsewhere I don’t know if there are any differences. It’s the same office that I have to go to when applying for a passport, a new ID, or to report a change in my adress.


      June 1, 2010 at 01:04

      • Strange concept. Why not just quit going to Church?

        The Other Weirdo

        June 1, 2010 at 01:15

        • Well, that’s the problem. I’m not talking about attendance, but about membership. If you’re baptized, you’re automatically a member of the church, which means you’ll pay your membership fee – the church tax. This only ends when you officially give up your membership, which for some reason is more complicated than with any other club membership.
          This is because for ages, it’s been the state who is mainly responsible for managing church membership and the collection of church tax – which is of course a form of indirect subvention of the churches, and thus unconstitutional. Also, the churches claim to power is based on the membership numbers, the number of people they claim to represent – that has nothing to do with actual church attendance and actual believers. They claim to represent a whole lot of people who are just too lazy to quit, or are even unaware that they are members. Nasty business, and the state is a lot more involved in it than it should be.


          June 1, 2010 at 10:17

      • Sorry for being slow, a church tax is an alien concept in Canada. U.S., too, for that matter. In 31 years in Canada, I’d never heard of such a thing.

        The Other Weirdo

        June 1, 2010 at 20:47

        • It’s an interesting observation that I was so absorbed in the local state of affairs that it didn’t even occur to me matters might be different elsewhere.
          Does the church in canada have no other way to estimate it’s fellowship but to go by attendance-numbers? Seems wiered to me… it’s the ROMAN catholic church after all, the True Buerocrats.
          It also doesn’t fit with their usual, rather compulsive need to claim to represent as many people as they possible can – as I said, those numbers are the very foundation of their claim to political power, and that goes for pretty much any place on earth.

          By the way, why the hell is my comment section so ridiculously narrow?


          June 1, 2010 at 21:06

      • I have no idea how they claim #s, I think it’s mostly done through the census and through various polls, and you’re probably right, also by counting attendence numbers.

        The Other Weirdo

        June 1, 2010 at 21:24

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