The number of people leaving the church is increasing. The Protestant Church sees the reasons for leaving the Catholic Church in the accumulation of cases of abuse. Apparently, people are still poking around in the dark to look for reasons for fleeing their own house.
Inhalt / Content
Church exits due to free-rider effects
No matter how big waves the repeated cases of abuse may cause in the Catholic Church, these are not the main reason for the increased number of church exits within the Protestant churches, according to the assessment of the sociologist from the Social Science Institute of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). , Petra-Angela Ahrens. In her opinion, the high number of departures, particularly in the Cologne region, was a matter of “free-rider effects”, as evangelisch.de reported.
Many have long since made their exit from the church concrete, but were still waiting for the right opportunity. Another scandal is then just a justification for the exit that was finally completed. However, the cause lies elsewhere.
Resignations because of indifference and irrelevance?
The sociologist sees indifference towards the church or the view that the church is irrelevant as the main reasons for leaving the church. In contrast to “hard-core atheists”, people who don’t care about the church no longer offer a basis for discussion. Although the reasons for the ever faster exit movement have not yet been scientifically proven, the pull effect of those who have already left could be a major reason. In 2021, almost 1.4 percent of the members of the Protestants left the Church.
Overconfidence and shot not heard
Honestly. Anyone who visits a Protestant (state) church and listens to the sermons, looks at the displays and brochures in the parish halls and browses through their Internet presentations will hardly notice any difference to the narratives generally disseminated by the media. Everything that the evangelical churches have to communicate is already widely laid out everyday material. Be it climate change, support for the Corona measures, “social justice”, “genderism”, refugee and asylum issues, energy transition and currently the Ukraine war. The tiny difference is that keywords picked out of the gospel are simply attached to the respective topics. These are mostly taken out of context. In short: the label says “Christian”, but the bottle contains “social politics”.
Anyone who believes that such developments simply pass people by unnoticed is on a high level of overconfidence. Anyone who racks their brains over the reasons for leaving the church obviously did not hear the shot. Yes, the EV churches have indeed become irrelevant to their original mission of spreading the true gospel.