Catholic church in Austria registers record number of resignations
90,808 left church in 2022 with number of Protestants also falling
The number of faithful leaving the Catholic church in Austria reached a new record of 90,808 in 2022, according to statistics released Wednesday.
The number shrank from 4.83 million in the previous year to 4.73 million.
A single reason for the number of departures cannot be inferred from the numbers.
The number of people leaving the church was already relatively high at 72,222 in 2021 and represented the second-highest figure behind 2010, when 85,960 people turned their backs on the church after abuse cases came to light, according to the daily Der Standard.
"For many people, a distance to the church, which has become greater due to the pandemic in recent years, is likely to be decisive for the current high numbers of people leaving," the Austrian Catholic news agency, Kathpress, wrote on its website.
The number of Protestants is also falling in Austria. In 2021, there were 340,000 Protestant adherents to the faith. Fifty years ago, there were 447,100.
The second-largest religious group next to Catholics in Austria, compared to the total population, are nondenominational.
According to a 2021 census, there are also 745,600 Muslims in Austria, which corresponds to 8.3% of the population. In 1971, there were only 22,300.
The number of Jews, on the other hand, has shrunk from 8,100 in 2001 to 5,400.