This year too, many believers in Saxony have turned their backs on the two major Christian churches. With the exception of Leipzig, the trend in the number of people leaving the church is continuing upwards in the major cities. The registry offices in smaller municipalities also recorded more such decisions by mid-December than in the entire previous year. Reasons are not asked for or recorded. The churches themselves do not yet have the corresponding statistics for 2023; they usually provide nationwide information on the previous year's trends in the summer.
However, the Saxon state church expects a similar level to 2022 and assumes stagnation. "The high number of people leaving the church hurts," says Michael Baudisch, spokesman for the Dresden-Meissen diocese. "Feedback tells us that trust in the credibility of the church has been damaged." For example, the processing of the issue of abuse is often seen as too hesitant or believers are disappointed about structural changes in their parish, such as church or building closures or staff cuts. According to Baudisch, many do not take the step lightly, "for some, it is preceded by a long process of alienation".
In the state capital of Dresden, 2724 resignations were recorded by the end of November, which was 188 more than in 2022 as a whole. By mid-December, Chemnitz had registered 501 resignations, eleven more than in the previous year, while Görlitz recorded 182 - an increase of 16. Plauen recorded 161 resignations, four more than in the previous year as a whole, and in Zwickau there were 203 resignations after 166 in 2022. Leipzig, meanwhile, had 2498 sealed church resignations - after 3349 in the previous year. And there are also differences in smaller municipalities: while Großröhrsdorf recorded seven more resignations than in the previous year (28), Bautzen recorded 184 resignations, eight fewer than in 2022.
In 2022, Saxony's regional church lost 10,651 Protestants through resignation, the first time the number had reached five figures. The diocese of Dresden-Meissen also set a record with 3786 resignations.
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