Today we will discuss a question that seems obvious, but, in fact, not everyone knows the answer to it.
What religion does the population of the main German-speaking countries profess?
Germany, Austria and Switzerland?
The constitution of each of these countries enshrines religious freedom and freedom of conscience. That is, people have the right not only to choose any of the religions, but also to be an atheist (this is called freedom of conscience).
Christianity came to Austria in the II century together with the Roman soldiers, it got to Switzerland in the same way in the IV century. But before the 8th century, Germany professed paganism, and only then was converted to Christianity. In the 16th century, a reformation of the church took place in Europe, which did not bypass Germany and Switzerland. After these wars, Germany divided into Catholic and Protestant regions. As a result of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) and the signing of the Westphalian Peace Treaty, the principle was fixed that the subjects of the feudal lord were obliged to accept his faith. That is why Germany and Switzerland are not homogeneous in religion. Northeastern Germany is Protestants. And the southwest is Catholics. And in Switzerland, everything is completely confused.
The ratio of Protestants and Catholics is approximately equal. 28.5% of Germans are Catholics, 26.5% of Germans are parishioners of the Evangelical Church – the union (union) of the Lutheran and Reformed land churches of Germany. Bavaria is a particularly religious region, more than half of all Bavarians are Catholics.
About 35% of all Germans call themselves people who do not belong to any of the religions. The land of Brandenburg (which surrounds Berlin) is especially different here, 80% of the population here do not consider themselves to be a religion. Berlin is generally called the atheistic capital of Europe. Although, according to statistics, back in the 1950s, 90% of all Germans were Christians.
Austria is located in the same place as Bavaria, so almost the entire population of Austria is Catholic. Historically, the wave of Lutheran reforms did not greatly affect Austria because of its strong ties with Catholic Rome.
64% of Austrians are Catholics and only 5% of Austrians are Protestants. Austria is more religious than Germany. According to statistics, only 17% of Austrians are non-religious people, which is two times less than in Germany.
Not much different from Germany: 38% of the population are Catholics, 27% are Protestants. A special feature of Switzerland is that the Catholic Church does not lose its positions here because of immigration from Catholic countries: Italy, Spain, Portugal …
If you look at the map of Switzerland on religious preferences, it will be difficult to find some kind of logic. The boundaries of the predominance of parishioners of a particular church do not coincide with the borders of the cantons. In big cities, Catholics and Evangelists usually live equally. Here are just Bern predominantly reformist (47%), and Lucerne predominantly evangelical (60%).
As elsewhere, the proportion of non-believers is growing in Switzerland – 21% of Swiss people do not profess any religion.
Here is a brief overview of the main religions of Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Then we will talk about Islam – religion, which also plays a certain role of these countries.