The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
Elias (Elijah) and Maria are number one in Germany. Noah and Lukas (Luke) are the most popular in Switzerland and Austria.
In a secularised Europe, parents still choose biblical names for their children. In 2016, Hebrew names were very popular in German-speaking countries, especially among boys.
In Germany, the statistics of the Society for the German Language show that six of the ten most popular names in 2016 were from the Bible: Elias (1), Paul (2), Ben (7), Jonas (8), Noah (9) and Lukas (10).
The most popular name for girls was Marie (1) and its variation Maria (4). Other names in the female top ten included Anna (8) and Hanna (9).
In Austria, the biblical names top the list as well. According to Der Standard, the four most chosen names for boys were: Lukas (1), David (2), Jakob (3), and Elias (4), closely followed by Jonas (7), Paul (8) and Tobias (9). Among girls, Anna was the number one and Maria, number three.
In Switzerland (where the population speaks German, French and Italian), the most popular name in 2016 for baby boys was, again, from the Bible: Noah. According to official data, five other biblical names were in the top ten: Gabriel (3), Luca (4), Elias (6), David (7) and Samuel (8). Among girls, just one name made it into the top ten: Anna (8).
WHAT ABOUT NAMES FROM A MUSLIM BACKGROUND?
Interestingly, no name from an Arabic background appeared among the top twenty in any of the three countries. In Germany, Mohammed/Muhammed (a very common name amongst Muslims) was on place 26. In Austria, on place 36.