Area: 357,042 sq km
Strategically placed in the centre of Europe and of the expanding EU.
Population: 82,056,775 Annual Growth: -0.09%
Official language: German. There are over 95 million German-speakers worldwide Languages: 69 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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The exodus from organized Christianity continues into the 21st Century, yet at a slower rate than in the 1990s. West Germany was 97% Christian in 1960, but Germany is now 63% Christian, a percentage that declines with each passing year. In northeastern Germany, possibly only 0.5% are evangelicals. Church attendance is down across the board, falling to near 11% for Catholics, 4% for Lutherans. Thousands are formally disaffiliating in order to avoid the church tax of 8-9% of their income tax, and many churches are closing. Churches seem paralyzed, having lost much of their identity, purpose and income. Germany needs another reformation as deep and lasting as the one sparked by Luther nearly 500 years ago. Some would argue that a more radical revolution, fuelled by altogether new structures, such as house churches, is needed.
The EKD is a federation of 23 Lutheran, Reformed and United Protestant regional/national churches, but it suffers deep divisions on many levels. The more evangelical/conservative groups and congregations are concentrated in Württemberg, Siegerland and south Saxony. Steadily declining attendance and therefore income translates into not only low morale for congregations, but also increasingly empty and crumbling physical structures. Many of the Lutheran clergy do not even believe in life after death; it is often difficult for born-again ministers in the EKD to openly minister in their own churches! Since 2001, the need for evangelization is recognized, and new church-development concepts enjoy popularity; without a return to genuine faith in the Bible, however, new concepts and programmes will never replace the need for renewal.
For an additional 12 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Germany.