The Central European country of Slovakia hosts a population of around 5,445,829 individuals. According to the CIA World Factbook, Christianity is the religion of the majority in Slovakia. 62% of the population of the nation practice Roman Catholicism. Adherents of Protestant Christianity and the Greek Catholic Church comprise 8.2% and 3.8% of Slovakia’s population, respectively. 12.5% of the population are affiliated to other religion or did not specify their religion. 13.4% of Slovakia’s residents claim to not to adhere to any faith.
The Largest Religion In Slovakia
Christianity’s beginning in Slovakia can be traced to the 8th century following the fall of the Avar Empire. Several Slavic principalities emerged in the region that is modern-day Slovakia. The rulers of these principalities soon started to accept Christianity as their religion. The first church was built around 830 in Nitra. Christianity started flourishing in the region in the latter part of the 9th century. By the Middle Ages, Christianity was well-established in the region and the Roman Catholic Church ran schools and social institution and also played an important role in the royal administration. Protestantism arrived in the country in about the 16th century. The ethnic Germans of Slovakia were the first to get acquainted with the ideas of the Reformation. By the middle of the 16th century, however, a significant section of the Slovaks had also accepted Lutheranism and other branches of Protestantism.
Today, some other branches of Christianity including the Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, Scientologists, The Brethren Church, and others also have a small following in the country.
Other Religions In Slovakia
Hindus, Muslims, Jews, and adherents of the Bahá'í Faith are some of the minority religious communities residing in Slovakia. Judaism has a long history in the country. The first Jews settled in the region at around the 11th century. Although the country had a significantly large population of Jews of around 90,000 prior to the World War, only a little over 2,000 Jews live in the country today. An estimated 5,000 Muslims also inhabit the country. Most of Slovakia’s Muslims today arrived as refugees from former Yugoslavia or they are students and workers who have migrated to the country. Most of the minority communities of Slovakia are concentrated in and around the capital city of Bratislava.
Religious Freedom And Tolerance In Slovakia
In Slovakia, the Constitution, laws, and policies provide for the freedom of religion to the residents of the country. The government generally withholds this freedom. However, in 2016, the parliament of Slovakia passed an important bill related to religious practices in the country. According to the bill, only religious organizations and movements with over 50,000 verified practicing members will be recognized by the state. The law has been both praised and criticized by various sections of the country’s population.