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Germany Religion

Around two-thirds of Germans belong to Christian communities. Protestants and Catholics are about as many. The Protestants are found mainly in northern and eastern Germany, while Catholics mainly live in the southern and western parts.

In communist former East Germany (GDR), the Protestant evangelical church served as an important forum for opposition to the one-party state.

Through immigration, Islam has become the second largest religion in Germany. In 2015, between 4 million and 4.5 million Muslims lived in the country, about 5 percent of the population.

Before 1933, over half a million Jews lived in Germany. After the extermination policy of Hitler and Nazi Germany, only about 35,000 remained. The German government declared in 1990 that an unlimited number of Jews from former Soviet republics were welcome to Germany, and in recent years many Jews immigrated from the east. Estimates of the number of Jews in the mid-2010s varied from 100,000 to 250,000. In recent years, the authorities have reported on the harassment of Jews and attacks and the vandalism of synagogues, which are said to be mainly the extreme right, but also to some extent some younger ones. Muslim men. Anti-Muslim sentiments in the country have also increased.

  • Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Germany, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.

2019

December

Germany expels Russian diplomats

December 4th

German prosecutors say that much points to Russia may be behind the murder of a Georgian man in central Berlin in August 2019. A Russian man was arrested after the act. The only prosecutor may be Moscow or the ruler of the Russian sub-republic of Chechnya who ordered the act. The German government reportedly exports two Russian diplomats.

November

Thousands of farmers demonstrate in Berlin

November 26th

A long procession with several thousand tractors stops traffic in central Berlin. Farmers protest against planned changes in agriculture with new environmental regulations. Among other things, the government wants to limit the use of fertilizers and the herbicide Glyphosate. The Government’s measures will help to adapt agriculture to existing EU rules.

SPD chooses new Merkelcritical leader duo

November 30

Instead of appointing the leadership couple advocated by the party establishment – Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and State Politician from Brandenburg Klara Geywitz – SPD members elect two left-wing politicians, Walter Borjans and Saskia Esken, who are critical of the prevailing government cooperation with the Christian Democrats. Scholz and Geywitz promised that the SPD would remain in the government coalition, while Borjans and Esken are openly critical and have expressed their willingness to renegotiate political agreements.

October

AFD is second largest in the Thuringian elections

October 27th

The right-wing nationalist AFD comes second in the state election in Thuringia and thus ends up ahead of the CDU, which comes in third place. The Left, which ruled the state in a coalition, consolidates its power and wins by 31 percent of the vote. The AFD gets 23 percent of the vote, while the Christian Democrats get 22 percent.

Germany stops arms exports to Turkey

October 12

After Turkey’s military offensive against the Kurdish YPG militia in northeastern Syria, Germany decides to stop its arms exports to the country. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says “Germany’s federal government will not issue any new permits for military equipment that can be used by Turkey in Syria”.

Two dead in attacks against synagogue

October 9

Two people are shot to death in an anti-Semitic attack aimed at a synagogue in the city of Halle in Saxony-Anhalt in eastern Germany. The offender directly broadcasts the deed on social media, where it has time to appear briefly before being removed. Another two people are injured in the attack, which takes place on the same day as the Jewish Feast.

September

Germany is asking Poland for forgiveness

1 September

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier asks Poland for forgiveness for “the terrible war” that began 80 years ago when Nazi Germany attacked Poland on September 1, 1939. Steinmeier, along with several other leaders in Poland, for memorial ceremonies. The right-wing nationalist party Law and Justice in Poland demands compensation from Germany for the suffering during World War II, when six million Poles were killed. However, Germany considers that the issue of financial compensation has already been addressed.

AFD is second largest in Brandenburg and Saxony

1 September

The right-wing party AFD becomes the second largest party in the state elections in Brandenburg and Saxony. Estimates believe that the result is because many residents of the former East German states are dissatisfied with immigration policy and that the former East Germans have lower income and welfare than previous West Germans. In Brandenburg, the AFD receives 23 percent of the vote and 23 seats in the state parliament. The Social Democrats SPD wins by a small margin and gets 25 seats. In Saxony, the AFD receives just over 27 percent and 38 seats, while the CDU comes in first place with 32 percent of the vote and 45 seats.

August

Russia is suspected to be behind Berlin murders

August 27th

A Georgian man is shot to death at lunchtime in a park in central Berlin. A 49-year-old Russian citizen is arrested shortly thereafter. The murdered man played an important role in the Chechnya war against Moscow in the 1990s. He survived a murder trial in Georgia a few years ago and then sought political asylum in Germany. According to information to the German media, there are similarities with other Russian assaults against former Russian regime critics abroad.

July

No to participate in US naval operations outside Iran

31 July

According to Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Germany will not participate in a US-led effort to protect vessels in the Hormuz Strait and the Persian Gulf. The message is a response to a request by the United States to protect ship traffic and “fight Iranian attacks”. One reason for the decision is according to Maas that Berlin does not support the US strategy against Iran. Germany, on the other hand, might consider taking part in a possible European operation.

German becomes new President of the European Commission

July 16

It is now clear that Germany’s former Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen will become the new President of the European Commission, after the European Parliament has given its approval. However, the margin was scarce, 383 members voted to approve her, 327 members voted against and 22 abstained. She takes over the post after Jean-Claude Juncker on November 1st. She will thus be the first woman in the post. On the same day, it becomes clear that Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who became the new leader of the CDU at the end of 2018 (see December 2018) will become the new German Minister of Defense.

June

SPD leader Andrea Nahles resigns

June 3

After only about a year as party leader for the SPD, Andrea Nahles announces that she is leaving her post. The reason is mainly the poor result of the party in the elections to the European Parliament at the end of May. The SPD then lost almost every other electorate and received only 15.8 percent of the vote. But the decision is also affected by the loss of elections in Bremen the same weekend as the EU election, when the SPD lost power in the state which was one of the party’s main holdings. After Nahle’s departure, Merkel’s coalition government holds crisis talks.

May

Defeat for the ruling parties in the EU elections

May 26

The Christian Democrats CDU and CSU receive only 28 percent of the electorate in the European elections, giving the parties 29 seats. Even their Social Democratic government partner SPD is doing poorly. The party comes in third place with just over 15 percent of the vote and 16 seats. Instead, the big electoral winner is the Greens, who almost double their results compared to the 2014 election. The party gets just over 20 percent of the vote, giving it 21 seats in the European Parliament. More than a third of first-time voters voted according to voter surveys on the Greens.

January

New friendship agreement between Germany and France

January 22

Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron sign a new friendship agreement in the German city of Aachen. The new Aachen Agreement is an update to the Élysée Treaty, signed 56 years ago by French President Charles de Gaulle and German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. The Elysées Treaty highlighted the importance of cooperation between the two countries that have so often been bitter enemies and war against each other. The Aachen Agreement will further deepen relations between the countries and lead to increased cooperation in a number of areas such as defense and security policy, business and research, infrastructure and more.

Germany Religion