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Religion in the Czech Republic

According to 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.

Religions of Czech Republic

History

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.

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