The Czech Republic: Religion

The area of what is today the Czech Republic was a pagan nation until the 9th century. In 863 A.D., two brothers, Cyril and Metodej (Constantin and Methodius), arrived as Christian missionaries. After their arrival, Christianity quickly spread throughout the region, as in the rest of Europe, and the Catholic Church became very dominant. Today, the Czech Republic enjoys strict freedom of religion. During the 40 years of Communist rule, however, religion was virtually outlawed, and churchgoing was strongly discouraged. Perhaps due to so many years of institutionalized atheism, many Czechs today are either atheists or refuse to affiliate with any one church.

Presently, 39.8% of Czechs consider themselves atheist; 39.2% are Roman Catholics; 4.6% are Protestant, with 1.9% in the Czech-founded Hussite Reform Church, 1.6% in the Czech Brotherhood Evangelic Church, and 0.5% in the Silesian Evangelic Church; 3% are members of the Orthodox Church, and 13.4% are undecided. In addition, many foreign churches -e.g., Buddhism, etc., have been introduced since 1989 and have established small parishes around the country. A small Jewish community of about 10,000 still exists. Before the Nazi invasion, Jews numbered as high as 360,000.

Religious Services (Prague)

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