Slovenia is a Central European nation with a population of around 1,972,126 individuals. According to the CIA World Factbook, Christianity is the religion of the majority in Slovenia. Roman Catholicism is the most popular Christian denomination with a following representing 57.8% of the country’s population. Adherents of Orthodox Christianity and other Christian denominations comprise 2.3% and 0.9% of the Slovenian population, respectively. 2.4% of the population is represented by Muslims. Followers of other religions and those who have not specified any religion account for 23% of the country’s population. A significant section of Slovenia’s population do not believe in any religion (10.1%) or are not affiliated to any specific religion (3.5%).
History Of Religion In Slovenia
Prior to the Communist rule in Slovenia, Roman Catholicism was the dominant religion in the country. It had a great influence on both the social and political scene in Slovenia. However, following World War II, Slovenia became one of the founding states of Yugoslavia, a communist state. Under the influence of the Communist rule, Slovenia underwent a period of secularisation. In the first decade of its rule, the Communist regime practiced the persecution of religions but later adopted a more lenient attitude towards the churches active in the country. The Communist rule in Slovenia ended in 1991 when it ceded from Yugoslavia to become an independent state with a democratic form of government. However, the influence of Communism is evident today in Slovenia’s religious demographics. A large section of the population consists of non-believers and those who are not affiliated with a religion.
Although the number of Protestants in Slovenia’s population is quite small today, Protestantism played an important role in the development of the Slovene literature including its standard language. However, despite the great contributions made by Protestantism in the 16th century, the same was rendered insignificant in the country during the Counter-Reformation that was supported by the Habsburg dynasty. It only survived primarily in the easternmost religion of Slovenia.
Besides Christianity, Judaism is another religion that has a long history in Slovenia. A Jewish community inhabited the region prior to the 6th century. Jews also arrived in small numbers over the centuries to Slovenia either to escape poverty or religious persecution in other countries. The relationship between the Jews and the Christians of Slovenia were generally peaceful in the past. However, the number of Jews in Slovenia sharply dropped during the Holocaust and today only around 400 to 600 Jews live in Slovenia. Most of them are found in the capital city of the country, Ljubljana.