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Leber, Fabian

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Der Tagesspiegel - Germany | 15/08/2014

Germans mistrust banks on church tax

The number of Germans leaving the Church rose rapidly in the first half of the year: depending on the diocese and Church district, up to 60 percent more people left the Church than in the same period last year. For the liberal daily Der Tagesspiegel the trend has to do with the fact that church tax on investment income is automatically transferred by banks to the state: "Not a few people must have been unpleasantly surprised to see that even a semblance of a connection between banks and churches has emerged. And the question of how very personal data is dealt with remains explosive: through the church tax the Churches have access to registration data that reveals who has remarried or is living in a gay partnership. According to the Catholic Church's labour policy this can serve as grounds for dismissal. The bishops have ruled out the possibility of abuse - however mistrust remains. ... In the end one has to ask if the church tax really fulfils its goal, namely strengthening the ties between the Church and believers."

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