According to recent polls, around 70 percent of Germans consider themselves to be religious. However, the country’s two major denominations — Protestant and Catholic — are seeing a drop in attendance. Recent marketing slogans such as “You are the Church” are meant to attract new members into German houses of worship. But fewer and fewer Germans are responding to the calls to join. The official membership rolls of both of Germany’s major denominations are dropping slowly but surely. The Archbishop of Munich, Reinhard Marx, candidly admits that for years, the number of people leaving the church has exceeded the number of those joining. It’s a problem that can’t be avoided, he says. In 2006, some 85,000 people left the Catholic Church, while only 15,000 new members joined. The numbers are similar for the Protestants. Indeed, less than two-thirds of all Germans are still members of a Christian religious community. Some 25 million people belong to the Catholic Church, about even with Protestants. In contrast, the number of Muslims in the country has grown steadily over the past years, making Islam the third-largest religion in Germany. In the 1960s, there were around 2 million Muslims; today there are more than 3 million. The Coordination Council of Muslims in Germany was formed in 2007, and acts as an advocacy group for Muslims in Germany. It fights for rights such as Islamic religion classes in schools.

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