To Stay or Not to Stay a Member of the Church

Kirchenmitglied bleiben?

The 2018 study “Kirchemitglied bleiben?” (“To stay or not to stay a member of the Church”) took a look at the religious and ecclesiastical orientations of Catholics, focusing on the reasons and benefits for church membership. Against the background of the Sinus-Milieu model, a target group typology was also developed to learn more about which social groups are close to the Church and which are currently reached less or not at all. 

The key findings of the study can be summarized as follows.

  • The majority of Catholics are connected to the Church. But for many, the bond is weakening. 
  • Faith in Jesus Christ, appreciation of church ceremonies and, not least, family tradition are the dominant motives for church membership. Younger people often justify their church membership more pragmatically and egoistically than older people.
  • 41% of Catholics are, to a greater or less extent, likely to leave the Church.
  • The majority of Catholics are convinced of the social commitment and charity expertise of the Church.
  • The younger the respondents, the less the Christian faith is the basis of life and an integral part of daily life – but for most (even among the young), faith provides inner support.
  • Spiritual needs and ideas beyond religion and church are widespread.
  • Catholics in Germany can be differentiated according to seven groups: the Avowed, the Community-rooted, the Socially Minded, the Uncompromisingly Persistent, the Service-oriented, the Religious Free Spirits, and the Alienated. The last group accounts for the largest share at 26%.


The authors:

Overview SINUS studies


Haben Sie bereits bei uns ein Konto eingerichtet, so können Sie sich einfach mit Ihrer E-Mail-Adresse und Ihrem Passwort hier anmelden.

Sorry, login failed. Please check your username and password.