Leaving the Church in Salzburg

In 2022, a new record number of Salzburg Catholics left the church. However, there is a lack of systematically collected information on the reasons for the new high in the number of people leaving. In this evaluation project commissioned by the Ombudsman of the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Salzburg, we are investigating the following questions: What are the central motives for deciding to leave the church? Are there similarities or do individual reasons predominate?

Leaving the Church in Salzburg

About the Research

People who decide to leave the church are offered the opportunity to present their reasons to the Ombudsman of Catholics in the Archdiocese. However, so far hardly any former Catholics have taken up the offering. Thus, the Office of the Ombudsman commissioned the ifz to set up an online survey targeting persons who recently left the Catholic church in the Archdiocese Salzburg. What are the central motives of the people in Salzburg to leave the church? How could the Archdiocese win former Catholics back? These questions are at the center of the research project which currently is being carried out by the ifz.


For the online survey, we developed a semi-standardized questionnaire. In addition, we invite interested participants of the survey to conduct a personal interview with an ifz scientist.


– Interim evaluation
– Final report with the results of the online survey


Bahtić-Kunrath Birgit

Research Fellow, Political Science, Human Rights and Democratizationbbahtic@ifz-salzburg.at