skip to content

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).


Religion Adresse/Address Telefon/Phone Internet
Katholische Kirche Köln, Erzbistum Marzellenstrasse 32
50668 Köln
Evangelischer Stadtkirchenverband Köln Kartäusergasse 9-11
50678 Köln
Anglican Church Bonner Str./Ecke Lindenallee
50678 Köln
0228 3681 6598
Armenische Kirche Allensteiner Str. 5
50735 Köln-Niehl
Baptist Church Rheinaustr. 9
50676 Köln
Griechisch-Orthodox Meister-Gerhardt-Str.10
50674 Köln
Russisch-Orthodoxe Kirche

Kalk-Mülheimer-Str. 128
51103 Köln-Kalk

Neue Str. 1
51149 Köln-Westhoven

Neuapostolische Kirche Köln Wickratherhofweg 22
50859 Köln
02 21/402172
Alt-Katholiken in Köln Jülicher Straße 28
50674 Köln

Jüdische Religion
Synagoge Köln

Roonstr. 50
50674 Köln
Islam Köln Vogelsanger Str. 290
50825 Köln

Moschee Eichhornstr. 2 / Ecke Friedrich-Karl-Str.
50735 Köln-Weidenpesch
Buddhismus Köln

Aquino Str. 27
50670 Köln

Kölner Buddhafield,
Osho Uta Meditation
Venloer Str. 5-7
50672 Köln

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