People in Germany are opting out of Christianity due to being taxed for their beliefs.
Christians, including those christened at an early age who no longer follow the faith, and Jews are expected to pay mandatory additional tax, equating to between eight and nine percent of their paycheck.
Some even end up paying up to 45 percent of their income tax straight to the church.
The payment is referred to as a “worship tax” or “church tax”, and sees funds go to the religious institutions under which people were registered in their youth.
In order to avoid footing the bill, thousands are leaving the church and no longer identifying as Christians.
Around 70 percent of church revenues come from the tax.
It’s believed that Catholic and Protestant churches in Germany were awarded 12 billion euros (more than £10 million) in 2020, but the number of people leaving faith is huge.
Over half a million German people left the church in 2019, with a third of believers considering leaving the church due to the fees, according to a 2021 report.
However, some religious groups are exempt from the tax, including Orthodox Christians, Buddhists and Muslims.
Similar processes take place in Austria, Denmark and Italy.