While Germans were already being taxed for their church membership, few were aware of that until recently when a simplification to the tax was announced. The announcement lead to massive church membership renouncements and debate over how such churches should be appropriately financed.

The church tax would no longer be deducted by the Financial Office but instead by private banks. This tax is distributed for the pension of parishioners. Clergymen say that banks are playing the devil’s advocate by stating that the tax can be avoided by officially leaving the church.

Image Credit: Tom Blackwell