Has anyone in your church become famous?

"Do I have to be baptized again?"

Are you toying with the idea of ​​(re) entering the Protestant Church? We are very happy about that. If you have a question, we'd be happy to help.

Who should I turn to if I want to rejoin the Church?

The way (back) to the church in Westphalia usually leads through the parish, usually that of the place of residence. Anyone considering this step should seek a conversation with the pastor. If you have any doubts, you can find out who this is by looking at the local telephone directory. You can already find many parishes on the Internet. You cannot become a member of the Protestant Church completely "anonymously". You will be accepted by the responsible pastor of the parish in whose area you live. That’s the rule.

Is there another way to (re) enter?

Yes. More and more church districts are offering entry points. They are usually in the center. There you can hold the necessary preliminary talks and join the Evangelical Church of Westphalia.

What if you have more contact with another church than with your actual home church?

Anyone who has a special relationship with a community other than their place of residence and, depending on the local conditions, can also take part in community life there, can apply for admission to this »desired parish« as an exception. There are no particular bureaucratic obstacles.

Will you be baptized again when you re-enter?

The baptism is unique. It is mutually recognized by most of the churches of the Working Group of Christian Churches (ACK), in any case by all churches that have signed the Magdeburg Declaration on the mutual recognition of baptism. In addition to the Roman Catholic Church, this also includes many Orthodox and other Protestant churches. In case of doubt, please ask your parish office. Re-entrants will therefore not be baptized again if they previously belonged to another recognized Christian community.

What if you haven't belonged to any Christian community before?

Then one is accepted into the Evangelical Church through baptism. The worship service is usually preceded by a baptismal class or a few baptismal conversations. In this way, the person to be baptized can get to know the Christian faith better.

Will you be tested when you re-enter the Church?

Mostly not. As a rule, only a conversation with a pastor and participation in a church service with participation in the Lord's Supper are planned. But of course you should ask yourself beforehand how serious you are about the church

Are you introduced to the community?

Not specifically. If desired, however, the entrance to a church service can be announced.

Which documents are required?

If you are not personally known to the pastor, you should have your identity card with you. In addition, in the event of re-entry, the data on leaving the church (exit certificate) and, if possible, the baptism certificate are required.

What does the entry cost?

In contrast to leaving the state, entry into the Protestant church is free of charge.

What does membership in the Protestant Church cost me?

There are many church members who pay no church tax at all (e.g. young people, students, unemployed people, pensioners). As a rule, nine percent of wage or income tax has to be paid. Church members whose taxable income does not exceed 8,354 euros (single) or 16,708 euros (spouses assessed for income tax together) do not pay church tax.

Church tax can be deducted from income tax as a special expense. This will reduce your tax liability.

The church is grateful that its members support the church's work with donations and collections and, above all, with church taxes.

If you pay wage tax, the tax office or your employer must be informed about your entry into the church:

  • If you are an employee, the parish will automatically report to the municipality. So you don't have to go to the tax office or inform the employer.
  • If you are self-employed, you must report your entry to the tax office. In this case, there is no notification by the parish. This is the only way to ensure that church tax is taken into account (also retrospectively) in the next annual settlement.
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