Pay the church tax‚Ķ or else!

Boulogne, "Christ Driving the Money Changers out of the Temple"

Valentin De Boulogne, “Christ Driving the Money Changers out of the Temple” (circa 1618), Web Gallery of Art [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Today the Associated Press provides a fascinating look at how churches are financed in Europe:

BERLIN (AP) – The road to heaven is paved with more than good intentions for Germany’s 24 million Catholics. If they don’t pay their religious taxes, they will be denied sacraments, including weddings, baptisms and funerals.

A decree issued last week by the country’s bishops cast a spotlight on the longstanding practice in Germany and a handful of other European countries in which governments tax registered believers and then hand over the money to the religious institutions. Continue reading