Why don’t Germans go to church?

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  • #10298

    Angela
    Member

    I live in Germany and have noticed that a great many Germans who live around me do not acknowledge any sort of religion. They don’t pray before they eat, attend church or seem the least bit spiritual. I was wondering why Germans (or some Germans) don’t go to church. I attend a Christian service here in Germany, and we had a gospel concert downtown. Lots of Germans showed up and enjoyed the music. I have heard that some Germans love gospel music. There are many old churches here, but it doesn’t seem like religion or spirituality is part of German culture. Can anyone offer some insight on this?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Angela, Gender : M, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 30, City : Washington, State : DC Country : United States, Occupation : writer, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #20088

    Kent26464
    Participant

    Throughout Europe, few people go to church. It’s the same in Australia, where I live. In these countries, most people understand that the Church and its stories are wonderful interpretations from the past of why we exist. But they alone tell us little about our relations today. The real question is why do Americans go to church in such large numbers? Don’t they understand that these are just stories?

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    Name : Kent26464, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Episcopalian, Age : 60, City : Melbourne, State : NA Country : Australia, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #36652

    Rick29814
    Participant

    Germany is one of the most highly educated countries in the world. Most German citizens have probably moved beyond the superstitious dictates of organized religion, a natural evolution for a civilized society.

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    Name : Rick29814, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, City : Springfield, State : OH Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #40575

    T27542
    Participant

    If by ‘part of culture’ you mean weekly church attendance, then there is only a minority of people religious in Germany. Statistics indicate only about 20 percent of those subscribing to some denomination officially (Lutheran or Catholic being the main faiths) actually attend services or otherwise practice their religion. Thus an active religious life with prayers, Bible classes and church attendance is a minority thing. You’re bound to raise a few eyebrows if you pray in public, and bound to be considered immensely odd. Additionally, church attendance has been dwindling for decades, though people still pay their church taxes as a means of supporting charity work done by church institutions. With the unification, a large part of the population that is atheist by denomination has been added. However, religious holidays like Christmas or Easter, albeit secularized and commercialized, feature very much in German cultural life. In this respect, German culture is still subliminally Christian. Historically, I think the reason for this development may be that we have seen in Germany centuries of religious persecution and bloodshed and have therefore embraced the separation of church and state very decidedly. Religion is thus a fundamentally private affair, and rigidly kept outside the public realm, which is entirely secular. If I remember correctly, at least four ministers of the current government did not swear their oaths of office upon the Bible, because they are atheist, and omitted the ‘so help me God.’ If you ask around, the court decisions passed a few years ago to keep crosses out of schoolrooms and courtrooms will be very much on people’s minds still. Religious groups blame secularization for the fact that religious life has been declining; the argument runs that what has become publically invisible does not exist anymore in people’s awareness. Personally, I think that the failure of the churches to come to terms with Nazi rule and live up to their own loud-mouthed ethic may have had something to do with the fact that people in Germany tend to ignore religions. Add to this that the religious worldview has been largely superceded by scientific understanding, and people will be aware that metaphysical entities (saints, angels and devils) and an almighty creator are somewhat anachronistic concepts.

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    Name : T27542, Gender : F, Religion : Atheist, Age : 32, City : Munich, State : NA Country : Germany, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #41464

    Stacey27919
    Participant

    There are plenty of Americans who don’t pray before they eat, attend church or act spiritual, too. In my opinion, it’s not so much a cultural thing as a personal preference.

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    Name : Stacey27919, Gender : F, Religion : Jewish, Age : 21, City : Durham, State : NH Country : United States, Occupation : student, 
    #46471

    Ronald-V29458
    Participant

    Truth is stranger than fiction. That is why liars can be so good, making their stories believable. Yet the Bible will tell it like it is, as unbelievable as it may be, because the purpose of the Bible is to teach Truth. Whether you accept that or not, the second point is that Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. The purpose of the Bible is to instruct us that we don’t make the same mistakes that others have made. Only those that listen profit from it.

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    Name : Ronald-V29458, Religion : Christian, City : Edmonton, State : NA Country : Canada, 
    #18205

    John29254
    Participant

    Actually Germany is not one of the most highly educated… http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/education/features/mike_baker/newsid_1698000/1698090.stm

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    Name : John29254, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, City : Somewhere between Slough and Maidenhead, State : NA Country : United Kingdom, 
    #16250

    Allan31419
    Participant

    And the American Republican Party’s recent nose dive into religion is something I find particularly hilarious. It reminds me of how hard an evil man prays to God on his death bed.

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    Name : Allan31419, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, Age : 22, City : Halifax, State : NA Country : Canada, Occupation : Student, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #15690

    Pieter
    Member

    I agree with the dude you are arguing. I would also like to add that organized religion is a lame idea and we need to move on. The best thing i see about the whole organized religion thing, is someone who has no family, no friends, etc will have someonte to talk to. These lonley people may otheriwise be sitting at home contemplating suicide or trying to get revenge on society with a killing spree or something twisted like that. Also, it gives old people something to do, people to talk to. I like religion in that sense. But why so conservative?? That gets annoying, fast. live and let live.

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    Name : Pieter, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : I like houselhold objects including two mattresses, Disability : Not enough sex in cars, Race : Swedish/African American\Asain\ Illegal alien, Religion : Jelsafarian, Age : 86, City : Albequreque, State : CA Country : Chile, Occupation : we've been 86'ed, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
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