Countryaah data, the Czechs are one of Europe's most secular people,
especially in the Bohemian region. According to the 2017
World Atlas survey, 51.9 percent of the Czech population is
not affiliated with any religious community, 34.2 percent
are declared atheists or agnostics, 10.3 percent belong to
the Roman Catholic Church, 0.5 percent are members of the
Bohemian Brothers Evangelical Church and 0.4 percent are
members of the Czechoslovak Hittite Church. Other religious
communities are even smaller.
The areas of Central Europe that make up the Czech
Republic were largely Christianized in the 800s. Around the
year 1400, a religious reform movement with a strong
national character, led by Jan Hus, led to the establishment
of a national Bohemian church (house rites). The Hussites
were widely spread until the Habsburgs expelled them in
1620. Since then, the majority of Christians have been
Catholics, but the legacy of Jan Hus lives on in the form of
several less Protestant denominations.
Following the Communist coup in 1948, the various
religious communities were subject to scrutiny and pressure
from the authorities. The Catholic Church underwent a
difficult period, marked by a significant drop in church
attendance. The ecclesiastical leaders were controlled by
the communist regime, and the denominations were seized.
From 1985, however, the search for churches was renewed,
partly inspired by developments in neighboring Poland,
especially after the Polish cardinal Karol Wojtyła was
elected pope in 1978 (John Paul 2). The reception received
by Pope John Paul 2 during visits to Poland and other
countries, and the messages the Pope received during these
visits impressed the people of the Czech Republic.
After the transition from communist dictatorship to
democratic multi-party system in 1989, religious freedom in
the Czech Republic again became available, and the church
communities regained their seized property.