I'm a bit uncomfortable with general recommendations that you should not have your religion registered on your Lohnsteuerkarte. After all, this is not just about paying tax, it's also about belief, and that's a very personal matter. If you contemplate actively leaving the church, you should be aware that in that case, should you decide to get married, you won't be able to do that in church. You won't be buried in a _church_yard, or by a pastor, if you should die - which you will do inevitably at some point. And your children will be borne as infidels, so to speak. So - a very personal decision. And if you decide you want to carry on being a member of the flock, you should just pay your Kirchensteuer, since that is the law in Germany. And part of your Kirchensteuer is used to (co-)fund kindergartens, schools, OAP homes, hospitals and the like. So it's not throughing money (entirely) out of the window either. Plus: your general taxes will rise if you can't deduct your Kirchensteuer als Sonderausgaben, which reduce your taxable income.