Magdeburg (dpa/sa) - The number of people leaving the church in the Catholic diocese of Magdeburg rose sharply to 1132 last year. In the previous year 2020, 739 people had turned away from the church. In addition, 787 church members died in the diocese last year, according to statistics published by the German Bishops' Conference (DBK) on Monday. The number of members in the Diocese of Magdeburg fell from almost 77,900 to 76,223.
According to the information, the number of baptisms was 213 last year after 221 in 2020. The number of confirmations increased from 142 to 335 confirmations. 56 weddings were performed after 47 in the previous year. Eight people entered the church and seven accepted it again. In addition to the area of Saxony-Anhalt, the diocese also includes parts of Saxony and Brandenburg.
Nationwide, more people have left the Catholic Church than ever before. A good 359,000 Catholics turned their backs on her in 2021 alone, according to the DBK. In 2020, with 221,390 people, significantly fewer Catholics had left the church. The Catholic Church still had 21,645,875 members - that's 26 percent of the total population.
"In addition to these numbers, we have to add the realization that not only are people leaving who have had little or no contact with their parish for a long period of time, but there is increasing feedback that people are taking this step who have previously been in the parish parishes were very committed", said the chairman of the bishops' conference, Georg Bätzing. "We as the Catholic Church can no longer take things for granted. We have to explain ourselves anew, explain what we're doing and why we're doing it."