Project Aims

Religious diversity is usually the norm. However, in Germany, religious and ethnic variety is unfamiliar to the religious landscape, because, for many centuries in Europe, two major denominations determined religious life or at least the popular perception of religion.


In the last few decades, however, the religious contours have changed radically as did the perception: The number of smaller Christian societies is on the rise, and, due to migration, new major religious cultures are growing fast: Islam, religions from Asia, Africa, and South America, a resurgent Judaism, new religious groups and beliefs – and increasing individual spirituality.


The CERES Project on Religious Plurality in North Rhine-Westphalia views itself as a platform for religious diversity. It offers sociological data on respective size and membership numbers, information on accepted principles and links to the official websites of religious groups. All information offered online is gathered by scientific standards, independent of religious positions. The religious groups are solely responsible for their official portrayal. By weaving together an extramural scientific perspective with an intimate view from within the religious communities, the page on religious diversity functions as an interface between the theories of religious science and religious practice.