Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 16 April |
home iconNews
line break icon

Religious Europeans keep going to church, in spite of tax, survey says

CHURCH TAX

Catherine Leblanc - Godong

Church tax.

John Burger - published on 05/15/19

In spite of a government tax, people are reluctant to give up their religious identity, Pew finds.

The church tax is a centuries-old European tradition. In many countries, the government taxes adherents of a particular religion in order to support their Church and its ministers.

In spite of news in recent years that people are leaving their Churches in order to no longer be liable for the church tax, the Pew Research Center says there does not appear to be a mass exodus.

“Growing numbers of people have been opting out of the tax by formally deregistering from their Churches, perhaps another sign of secularization in the region,” Pew says.

The survey, published April 30, found that between 8 percent and 20 percent say they have left their Church tax system. “In several countries, one-fifth or more of current payers describe themselves as either ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ likely to opt out in the future,” says the survey, which was conducted in Western Europe in 2017.

Among those who say they pay the tax, large majorities describe themselves as “not too” or “not at all” likely to take official steps to avoid paying the tax in the future.

One reason why people are reluctant to leave, Pew explains, is that “formally leaving a Church and renouncing a part of one’s identity involves enough effort and symbolism that many people are deterred from taking that step, even if they are not religious.”

Tags:
Church
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
1
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
2
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
3
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
4
SAINT FAUSTINA,CELL
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
7
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for strength
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.