Source: The Washington Post
BERLIN — When Germans file their annual tax returns, religion matters a great deal. If you’re Catholic, tax authorities will likely collect an income tax surcharge of about 10 percent on behalf of your local church. The same applies to most Protestants.
The tax applies to almost all baptized Christians, and church representatives say that the state-enforced payments are crucial in financing cemeteries and community work.
So far, practicing Muslims have been excluded from that rule, but some leading members of the German government’s coalition parties appear determined to change that. Despite criticism from some Muslim communities, they maintain that a state-collected tax for all Muslims would help to boost moderate interpretations of Islam and counter the appeal of wealthy foreign donors who promote more radical interpretations.