Significant increase

In Bavaria in 2010, around 80.000 Christians left the two large churches. The Protestant Church lost about 20.000, the Catholic church slightly more than 60.000 members.

While the number of people leaving the regional church remained at the same level as in previous years, it rose by an average of 50 percent in the seven Catholic dioceses. The diocese of Augsburg was the proportional leader with an increase of almost 73 percent, while the archdiocese of Munich-Freising was at the bottom with just under 30 percent.

As the seven dioceses unanimously reported, the peak of the withdrawal movement fell on the spring of 2010. At the time, the abuse scandal and the affair surrounding Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa caused persistent negative headlines about the Catholic Church. In the second half of the year, the number of people leaving the church returned to pre-crisis levels, the dioceses said.

For the first time since 1949, the proportion of Catholics who turned their backs on their church was 0.9 percent of all members, higher than that in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. For her, the attrition was 0.77 percent. If this trend is confirmed at the federal level, where not all the data is yet available, this would correspond to around 220.000 Catholic and 185.000 Protestant church departures.

At the same time, the national church registered a significant increase in admissions. Just under 5.500 people became Protestants in the Free State in 2010, after about 3.500 in the previous year. According to the spokesman of the regional church office, the origin of this increase has yet to be evaluated.

According to this balance sheet, the Catholic Church suffered serious membership losses in 2010. In retrospect, however, the decline was not quite as severe as feared seven months ago. At that time, social scientists had predicted a double or even triple exit number compared to 2009.

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