Olli Dürr

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Church departures in 2023 – new record for EKD churches



The Evangelical Churches of the EKD repeatedly set a new record in 2023. The mass exodus of former members has increased again. A not exactly surprising development. The mutation from a once Lutheran organization to an ideological would-be political party is bitter among people.

New record numbers of people leaving the church

The mass exodus from the (former) Protestant churches in Germany not only continued in 2023, but even became larger. As of December 31, 2023, according to the umbrella organization of Evangelical Churches in Germany (EKD), around 18.56 million people in Germany were still members of one of the 20 regional churches. Compared to the previous year, a decrease of 3.1 percent. At the end of 2022, the EKD still had around 19.15 million members (Source).

During 2023, around 140,000 people were baptized in one of the regional churches. In addition, around 20,000 people were added due to admission. The decline in the number of members is made up of around 340,000 deaths and around 380,000 people leaving the church. The exit rate has increased by almost 2 percent compared to the previous year. The net decline was around 590,000 members in 2023. At the turn of the year, around 21.9 percent of all German residents were members of one of the 20 regional churches (2022: 22.7%).

EKD fears slipping into poverty

Poverty spread
EKD fears a decline in financial income

As the number of members shrank, church tax revenue also fell in 2023. In 2023, the churches collected 5.9 billion euros in church tax. Compared to the previous year, a decrease of 5.3 percent. A year earlier, church tax revenue increased by 4.1 percent compared to the previous year.

For Bishop Kirsten Fehrs, current council chairwoman of the EKD, around 5.9 billion euros in church tax revenue already seems to be a feature of poverty. “We are becoming a smaller and poorer church,” said Fehrs, looking at the latest figures on members and income. However, the EKD council chairwoman believes that she immediately has a recipe ready to counter this disastrous development.

Live up to expectations

People still have high expectations of the churches, according to an empty phrase uttered by Fehr. “They want us to work for socially disadvantaged people, for education and for social cohesion.” The church must live up to this expectation. It is therefore important that the church knows what it stands for. Actions must always be viewed critically and the structures must be put to the test. This is particularly important with a view to dealing with sexual violence in the church and diakonia.

The EKD churches received great support from church members (95%) and non-denominational people (78%) for running counseling centers for people with problems in their lives. Furthermore, the church must be committed to “the poor, the sick and the needy as well as solidarity and justice in the world”, said Fehrs in the manner of Roman Catholic social teaching.

Reasons for the ongoing mass exodus

Evangelical churches are poaching in politics

The EKD does not comment on the reasons for the renewed increase in mass exodus from the (formerly) Protestant churches. So we can only speculate about it. A significant factor is likely to be the church tax, which is deducted directly from wages without the church member having any influence or collected by the tax agency for a corresponding fee.

Fewer and fewer people in Germany see themselves in a position to pay a church tax, and this for an institution that is now more similar to a political party overloaded with ideologies than to a house that represents the word of God. After all, the EKD churches still claim to stand on the foundation of the gospel within the framework of Luther’s legacy. Instead, their aim seems to be to determine everyday political life as quickly as possible in agreement with the Church of Rome. The “Kirchentag 2023” event in Nuremberg was one such stilted attempt to establish oneself politically (Info). Red-Green “top staff” in politics were allowed to give their best to their respective creeds. You can’t beat it in terms of embarrassment.

Fewer and fewer people are willing to simply accept this blatant label fraud. The formation within modern Babylon as a “false prophet” can no longer simply be kept under a cover (Info).

When the blind want to lead the blind

Hand puppet
Even when pulled by the strings, they want to direct

The institutions that are still described as Protestant today are daughters who have long since returned to Rome and are also diligently singing their mother’s songs (Info).

The tragedy is that those responsible, especially in the ranks of the EKD, either do not realize this prostitution (Revelation 17.5) or have consciously entered into this mother-daughter relationship and are knowingly deceiving their members. As is often the case, the reality can be found somewhere between the two possibilities. Even struck by blindness, but wanting to lead the remaining blind. Basically this can be said:

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
2 Timothy 3:5

The Roman Catholic Church announced that it would soon publish the figures on membership development.
Overview of the development of membership numbers in the churches – here

Bible verses from King James Version

Church departures in 2023 – new record for EKD churches
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