(Associated Press) The road to heaven is paved with more than good intentions for Germany's 24 million Catholics. If they don't pay their religious taxes, they will be denied sacraments, including weddings, baptisms and funerals.
A decree issued last week by the country's bishops cast a spotlight on the longstanding practice in Germany and a handful of other European countries in which governments tax registered believers and then hand over the money to the religious institutions.
In Germany, Catholics, Protestants and Jews pay a surcharge of up to nine percent on their income tax bills - or about (EURO)56 ($72) a month for a single person earning a pre-tax monthly salary of about (EURO)3,500 ($4,500).
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