Religion in Hungary is predominantly Christian. Historically, the formation of Hungary was based on Christianity as it was declared the state religion by King St. Stephen. Over the last millennium, the percentage of Christians has declined from almost all population to about three-fifths today who proclaim themselves as Christians. The advent of modern ideas means that a lot of people especially the young generation has started identifying themselves as either atheists, agnostics or outright unaffiliated altogether.
Christianity And Its Various Forms In Hungary
The wide majority of the population identifies as Roman Catholic. This is in continuation with the historical tradition on which the state was formed. In essence, Roman Catholicism was the state religion until as late as 16th century. Roman Catholics still form the single largest religious entity with 37.1 % of the people. However, it is important to note that despite being the largest group, this is no longer in clear majority and the share in populace can be observed for evidence of a declining trend.
Quite a lot of Christians have converted from Roman Catholics to the Reformed Church of Hungary. The Reformation dates back to the 16th century when Lutheranism and later Calvinism swept the population. The Reformed Church, along with numerous other minor Protestant Christian denominations, forms about 13.8% of the total population of Hungary.
Only about 1.8% of the people in Hungary practice Greek Catholic Christianity. However, this is a group of very loyal Christians who work on the preservation of their faith. The Greek Catholic Church buildings are famous for their architecture and are subject to numerous visits from tourists and locals alike.
Other Religious Affiliations
The other major religions practiced in Hungary are Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Paganism. Despite the various faiths practiced, the total number is mightily overshadowed by Christianity with only 1.9% of people accounting for all these other religious affiliations. Of these Judaism has the largest share with 0.1 % and the rest account for less than that. However, Hungarians are very tolerant and respectful of minorities and the freedom to practice their faith is given to all citizens.
Atheism or Agnosticism
A total of about 18.2% Hungarians do not believe in a God or proclaim themselves as non-religious. Of these, only 1.5% identify themselves as atheists while the other 16.7% declare themselves as non-religious but do not discount the possibility of there being a God. This trend is fairly modern and can only be dated back to the last two decades and these numbers are expected to be higher in the future as more modernistic thoughts pave their way into the Hungarian society.
Religion In Modern Times In Hungary
A large number of Hungarian citizens did not choose to declare their religious beliefs which may show indecisiveness or a state of transition. Either way, it provides a very interesting contrast to the history when Christianity, and specifically Roman Catholicism, was the major religions. The shift in religious thought process is also in line as reflected in the rest of the European nations.