Since the 19th century, Germany’s Catholics and Protestants have paid church taxes in order to fund the churches and schools of their faith. Now, politicians in Europe’s largest country are considering extending the scheme to the Muslim population, as a way of reducing the influence of foreign countries and encouraging the growth of a “German Islam.”
A “mosque tax” would be modeled on the Kirchensteuer or “church tax” that is currently paid by more than half of all Germans, collected through the tax system, and distributed to Christian and Jewish organizations. It currently amounts to around 8-9% of a person’s salary. Continue reading
The German Catholic Bishops Conference issued a decree in September warning that those Germans who opted out of paying the country’s “church tax” would no longer be entitled to sacraments, religious burial or any part of parish life.
This “church tax” is a special tax collected in Germany and several other Western European nations that was introduced in the 19th century in compensation for the nationalization of religious property. All Germans who officially register as Catholics, Protestants or Jews on their tax documentation must pay a religious tax of 8 to 9 percent on their annual income tax bill.