Scientists analysed data on 400 male criminals held and then released from prisons across Rhineland Palatinate between 1996 and 2000.
Nearly 80 percent committed crimes again within the first four years of being released from prison, the data showed. That fitted with the nation average reoffending rate, a report in Der Spiegel said on Sunday.
Of those who said they were Catholic, that figure was 78.8 percent, and of the Protestants 88.8 percent reoffended. The figure for Muslims was just 64.1 percent, the study showed.
Stefan Giebel and Martin Rainer, who conducted the study which was published in the German Criminologist magazine, said the social surroundings in which the young men concerned came from, seemed to be crucial.
The young Christian men often came from broken families and were more likely to have been living in various different places than the Muslims in the study. The latter were also more likely to be accepted by their families after serving a prison sentence, the study showed.