The government collects the tax on behalf of the church. If the believer doesn’t pay tax, take away the sacraments (Catholic) or forget about becoming a godparent, getting married in a church or taking a job in church-affiliated hospital or kindergarten (Protestant).
It’s all the rage in Germany where the Catholic Church receives about €5bn annually from the tax. For Protestants, the total is just above €4bn.
Similar arrangements exist in other parts of Europe where church and state were intertwined for centuries.
What’s the fruit of this cosy relationship? Decline and decay.
What’s the movement alternative? Churches that are self-governing, self-financing, self-correcting and self-reproducing.
UPDATE: link fixed.