In Europe, Christianity has always been the dominant religion. Today, however, more and more people on the continent adhere to irreligion. Other religions, such as Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Indian religions, and a few others are also present.
Religion in Europe
As stated earlier, Christianity is the most popular religion in Europe with about 76.2% of the population practicing the religion. In the second place, unaffiliated people come in with about 18.8% of the entire population. Islam is in third place with around 6% of the population. Other religions come next with less than 1% of the European population practicing each religion. These minor religions include the likes of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Folk Religions, and other religions.
Looking at the future projections of religion, between 2010 and 2050, experts predict that Christianity will shrink in numbers while Islam and the unaffiliated will become more popular. Experts foresee that the number of Christians will drop from more than half a billion to just over 400 million followers by 2050. Muslims will increase from around 40 million to about 90 million followers. The unaffiliated are also expected to grow from around 150 million people to almost 200 million people.
The largest religion, Christianity, is divided into a number of smaller denominations such as Catholics, Protestants, and other religious groups. Christianity as a whole has been present in the European civilization since the 4th century. The religion has shaped most of the western culture, as we know it today, regardless of someone’s denomination. Christianity has influenced almost all of today’s western behaviors such as work ethic, politics, founding hospitals, and others. Within the Christian population, Catholics make up the largest number, followed by Protestants, then the Eastern Orthodox, and finally other minor denominations.
Islam was introduced to Europe around the 8th century, which was around the time of the Muslim conquests. The religion spread in some parts of Italy in that period and even central regions of Europe. In other parts, such as Ukraine and Russia, the religion has been historically existent. Most of the introduction of the religion in Europe has been mainly through the movement of people who switch countries or go to work in Europe. There are some countries and territories in Europe where Islam is the dominant religion such as Bosnia and Herzegovina (51%), Kosovo (96%), Northern Cyprus (99%), and a few other places.
One interesting thing about the number of irreligious people in Europe. This trend of irreligion and secularism has become more popular in recent centuries. One of the reasons for this is that some of the places such as France and some parts of Europe are traditionally secular or the state enforced secularity in the past.