Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 8 years ago

Why are certain countries in Europe more religious than others. ?

For example, Slovakia and the Czech Republic use to be one country, but Slovaks are rather religious and Czechs are almost 100% irriligious. Spain is rather religious, but France, their neighbors are not. Greece and Serbia are religious, but Albania is not. Italy is rather religious, but Switzerland is not. Could a European please explain this to me? Is religion culturaly more important in some countries than others?

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Alot has to do with the historical heritage of certain nations and how well the population in those areas have adapted to various situations. The Balkans is a particularly interesting one where alot of nations were under the influence of totalitarian communist rules, banning religion in most countries (YU, AL).

    The abolishment of a european religious state was completely different depending on who lead the country, you have alot of believers in most slavic countries since their totalitarian rule (wich often was connected to the USSR) was under direct disobedience by the Orthodox Church. Orthodox Christianity under communism survived better because of heavy resistance making the actual abolishment of religious practice proving to be a constant problem to deal with. Alot of the Orthodox churches claimed strongly to their historical medieval heritage and provided a nationalist ideal for several slavic people in close symbiosis with their religious beliefs, which the communist rule sought to minimize empathizing the solidarity of a "communist nationalism" (Homo Sovieticus). Of course this particular attempt proved hard to maintain, especially when the communist block had political differences within her self.

    In Albania however (with ties to People's Republic of China) the restraint of religious practice proved to be better than expected, alot of the (already semi-secular) muslim and christian population did not put up much for a fight, It became even more impossible thanks to the Sigurimi-organisation (much like STASI) who actively monitored religious activity in the country and within more radical scenarios also actively delivered personal "death-penalties" to clerics and imams who secretly or openly tought religious doctrines to those who "illegally" wished to learn, or in more mild scenarios inprisoned them together with various political prisoners in certain detention camps. Today it's generally thought that the majority of muslims in this country is as high as 70% (CIA World Factbook) however this is incredibly wrong, since it's based on people assigned to certain churches/mosks and not actual believers. Albania is now is a theist country (Even though the original constitution does not recognize religion) with alot of "religious institutions" but with almost 10 to 20% actual believers and worshippers, the most favoured religious practice in the country is the Summer's day Fest wich is a pagan ritual from ancient times - this too is a communist heritage where the leader Enver Hoxha gave religious exceptions to extremely small minority of Pagans in the country during the regime.

    Greece was left fairly untouched by Communism and could therefore keep the religious ideals that were strongly held within their borders, it also opened an opportunity to aid orthodox churches within the communist block. Greece being the "founder" of orthodox christianity had alot on her shoulders, it is a historical heritage that will most definitely follow each Greek to the grave.

    All in all i'd say Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity is (today) more politically radical and immune to reformation than Protestantism, and the reason that Islam failed to extract has alot to do with the fact that "muslim" european countries are based on "christian traditions" (This includes Turkey) or have within themselves developed strong anti-religious doctrines that sieze power within the country. These anti-religious doctrines still have their impact on society today where in both countries as Albania or Turkey, wearing a religous robe (a Burqa or something similar) is considered taboo and totally prohibited in public schools - also promoting religion over nationalism can often get various religious leaders in threatening situations by ultra-nationalist movements.

    Source(s): Student at Lund University, Malmo, Sweden. Religion and Social-science.
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  • 8 years ago

    Much it has to do with the level of industrialization in the time of nation-forming society, which corresponds to 19th century in Europe. Czech lands were industrial heartland of the Austrian Empire and the modern Czech nation developed in these time with the industrial boom. Slovakia was agricultural society until 1960's, where national development happened in the agrarian society. Czech society like French, Dutch, British, Scandinavia and significant part of Germany (Saxony or Westphalia) went through social, economic, and cultural revolution in the 19th century, which also supported development of the secular, and liberal society derived from modern, industrious population. Countries that developed their national consciousness at the same time, but were not experiencing first and second industrial revolution missed the development of the secular society. This is very typical for Slovakia, Poland, Ireland, Spain, and Greece. The religion became integral part of the modern nation. Economic level has little to do with this notion. Ireland or Spain has higher GDP than Czech Republic or Estonia, but these two countries are the most irreligious and secular in Europe. The same is valid in Germany. Bavaria is the most religious region in Germany with the highest level of church affiliation and church attendance, and it is the second richest republic in the German's republic. But until 1945, it was rather agricultural state, and industrialization happened after WWII, when Germany lost industrial Silesia, and many German speaking immigrants from Eastern Europe settled there. Even Munich, which is similar size like Prague feels provincial, and church attendance in Sunday is matching Polish countryside. Albania is unique state, and it was only socialist country that implemented thorough secularization and atheism as an official doctrine of the state. In Eastern Europe under communism, religion was NEVER outlawed. Catholic church, while broken and controlled, was never put into illegality, so were national orthodox churches and protestants.

    Younger generation is increasingly secular even in countries like Poland, and it will eventually matches the same level of church and religion indifference as do other European countries. This is very clearly seen in the power of the traditional catholic parties and organizations that continuously losing membership. This trend is very visible in Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia. In recent Polish election, transgender person was elected, so did openly gay man. The traditional church indoctrination has little to appeal masses, and the church is refusing to address issues that plague modern European society (social inequality, environment, and collapsing welfare system). People are not willing to fund church anymore, and in matter of time, church will look for greener pastures in developing world, Asia or USA.

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  • 8 years ago

    The answer is in the history of each nation you mentioned . Spain was conquered from Arab Muslims for near 800 years , Greece and Serbia from Turk Muslims for near 400 to 500 years each and after many fights and rebellions those nations gained their freedom again .

    At the times of occupation Christians were like 3rd type of citizens close to slaves and the Muslims were the rulers , because of their Christian religion they faced all kinds of humiliations and slavery . From very high taxes to abduction of Christian children for sex slaves(into harems) and future soldiers (janisaries) That is why those nations are more religious now , because they fighted really hard for their faith and their freedom . Albanians were conquered too from Turk Muslims , but most of them didnt fight back and just followed their masters , that is why many Albanians are Muslims today . But after the defeat of Turks mostly because of Greece , Serbia and Bulgaria in Balkan wars , Albania became under Communism , and ofcourse they followed again their new masters . That is why they are atheists . The other countries you mention i dont know anything about , but i guess they never had to fight for their faith thats why they dont care much about it . It isnt about "education" other commenters said but something more deep .

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  • 4 years ago

    .. Turkey isn't in Europe.. so some distance as i will tell, the France element is frequently as a results of bigotry - the two French and Muslim. there is not any longer something incorrect with hijab. usa maximum probable is merely no longer following suit any time quickly.

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  • 8 years ago

    I guess it is a way of saying 'although your country is our next door neighbour, we are not a part of your country'.

    Think of it a bit like the split between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland.

    Source(s): Subconsciously, this is what I believe it is.
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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Different countries.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Because they are different countries.

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  • AEF
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Education levels.

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  • 8 years ago

    olives and whities

    olives are more religious

    whities are more irreligious

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