In Germany, a majority of members of the various religions believe that democracy is a good form of government. This is one finding of the study "Religious Diversity and Democracy," based on our 2017 Religion Monitor and a follow-up survey in 2019. According to the findings, 89 percent of the German population supports democracy. Among Christians, 93 percent of those surveyed express this view, as do 91 percent of Muslims and 83 percent of the nonreligious. Approximately 80 percent of German citizens also value the protection of minority interests as a fundamental principle of liberal democracy.
When it comes to respect for religious diversity, however, there is still room for improvement. The study found that in principle, 87 percent of those surveyed are open to other worldviews. Approximately 70 percent say that other religions also contain elements of truth; these respondents are considered religiously tolerant. But only about 50 percent of respondents in Germany hold the view that religious plurality enriches society. In regard to Islam, this share is even lower: Only one third of the population regards Islam as enriching. In contrast, a majority view Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism as enriching.
Overall, about half of those surveyed perceive Islam as a threat. This proportion is higher in eastern Germany, at 57 percent, than in western Germany (50 percent). These findings, recorded in spring 2019, are largely similar to the results of previous Religion Monitor surveys taken in 2013, 2015, and 2017. "Evidently, many people nowadays view Islam more as a political ideology and less as a religion and therefore not deserving of religious tolerance," explains Yasemin El-Menouar, our expert on religion. In her view, this has been amplified by the societal debates and media reports of past years, which often cast Islam in a negative and critical light.