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Faculty of InternationalSample Institute

Religion and Holidays

Article 4 of the German Constitution guarantees freedom of belief. Anyone can freely have a religion, join a religious community, change or leave it, or decide to be non-denominational. The State must be neutral and tolerant of all religious and  philosophical communities. In Germany, there is no state religion; this means that State and religious and philosophical communities may not enter into an institutional association with one another. However, collaboration between the State and religious communities is possible and religious communities are invited to comment on social matters, take part in committees and forums, and are consulted for advice.

In state schools, religious education is basically compulsory for members of the respective religious community; however, parents can opt out of religious education for their children. Non-denominational teaching of ethics is usual for students who do not take part in religious education. State schools may also provide education for students in ethical matters.

The largest churches in Germany are the Catholic and Protestant churches. They each account for around 30% of the population, with a different regional distribution. In Southern Germany, the Catholic church has a higher percentage; whereas in the north it is the Protestant church. Islam, in its various forms, is increasingly gaining in importance due to immigration into Germany; approximately 4% of the population is Muslim. Just 2% of the population belongs to various other religions represented in Germany, and around 34% is non-denominational. There is no strict division between church and State. The state revenue authorities collect church taxes that the Protestant and Catholic churches, the Jewish communities and a few small religious communities raise from their members. There are also a large number of statutory holidays in Germany based on Christian traditions.

Added to these there are holidays that only apply in certain federal states.

New Year  = 1 January
Good Friday = Friday before Easter
Easter Sunday and Easter Monday =  March or April
Labour Day = 1 May
Ascension Day = Thursday, 10 days before Whitsun
Whit Sunday and Whit Monday = In June
German Unity Day =  3 October
Christmas Eve = 24 December (afternoon onwards)
Christmas Day and Boxing Day = 25 and 26 December
New Year’s Eve = 31 December (afternoon onwards).

Religions

ReligionAdressPhoneInternet
Katholische Kirche Köln, ErzbistumMarzellenstrasse 32
50668 Köln
0221/1642-00221/1642-700www.erzbistum-koeln.de
Evangelischer Stadtkirchenverband KölnKartäusergasse 9-11
50678 Köln
0221/3382117
0221/3382121
www.kirche-koeln.de
Anglican ChurchBonner Str./Ecke Lindenallee
50678 Köln
0228 3681 6598www.anglicanbonncologne.de
Armenische KircheAllensteiner Str. 5
50735 Köln-Niehl
0221/7126223
0221/7126267
Baptist ChurchRheinaustr. 9
50676 Köln
0221/218860
0221/2786974
www.ibc-cologne.de
Griechisch-OrthodoxMeister-Gerhardt-Str.10
50674 Köln
0221/237882www.orthodoxy.de
Russisch-Orthodoxe Kirche

Kalk-Mülheimer-Str. 128
51103 Köln-Kalk

Neue Str. 1
51149 Köln-Westhoven

0221/856552
02203/181465
www.orthodoxe-kirche-koeln-kalk.de
www.orthodoxy.de
www.roka.germany.net
Neuapostolische Kirche KölnWickratherhofweg 22
50859 Köln
02 21/402172www.nak-koeln-west.de
Alt-Katholiken in KölnJülicher Straße 28
50674 Köln
0221/2405032
0221/2405132
www.alt-katholisch.de/gemeinden/koeln/index.html

Jüdische Religion
Synagoge Köln

Roonstr. 50
50674 Köln
0221/9215600
0221/9215609
www.sgk.de
synagoge-koeln@netcologne.de
Islam KölnVogelsanger Str. 290
50825 Köln

0221/9544100
0221/542616

www.vikz.de
MoscheeEichhornstr. 2 / Ecke Friedrich-Karl-Str.
50735 Köln-Weidenpesch
0221/713307
Buddhismus Köln

Aquino Str. 27
50670 Köln

0221/7327475
0221/7327475
koeln@diamondway-center.org
Kölner Buddhafield,
Osho Uta Meditation
Venloer Str. 5-7
50672 Köln
0221/5740730
0221/5740736

www.oshouta.de
www.oshotimes.de

Hindu Temple
HARI OM MANDIR
Afgh. Hindu Gemeinde in Köln e.V.
Wikingerstr. 62
51107 Köln (Rath-Heumar)
0221/ 8027814
0221/8300009
Fax: 0221/8027815
Sikh-TempelKalk-Mülheimer-Str/An der Autobahn
51065 Köln (Buchforst)