Belgium is a secular country as the constitution provides for the freedom of religion while the government respects the right of religion in the country. Roman Catholicism has been counterbalanced by the free-thought movement which has played a critical role in Belgium’s politics since independence. According to a survey conducted in 2010, 37% of Belgians believed there was God while 31% believed that there was some sort of force or spirit somewhere. 27% did not believe in God or any spirit. The Roman Catholic Church is still the most popular church in the country having been the main church during the reign of Albert I and Baudouin.
Christianity In Belgium
Christianity is the largest religious group in Belgium accounting for about 64.2% of the country’s population. Roman Catholics are the Christian majority accounting for about 58% of all Christians. Roman Catholics are mainly concentrated in Flanders. However, the church attendance among the Catholics has significantly dropped from 12% in 1998 to about 5% currently. Nevertheless, Catholicism remains an important part of Belgium’s culture. The Catholic Church in Belgium is part of the worldwide Catholic Church under the leadership of the Pope in Rome. There are seven Catholic Church dioceses and one archdiocese in Belgium. Belgium has 13 Anglican churches including the Pro-Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Brussels. The Anglican church of Belgium is part of the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe. Protestantism is one of the oldest denominations in Belgium dating back to the 15th century. Today, the largest Protestant denomination in the country is the United Protestant Church of Belgium with over 140 affiliated churches.
Islam In Belgium
Islam accounts for the beliefs of 5% to 7% of Belgians. It is the second largest religion in the country and is concentrated in Brussels, Wallonia, and Flanders. The majority of the Belgium Muslims (98%) belongs to the Sunni denomination with the rest affiliated to Shia and Ahmadiyya. There are about 400 mosques in Belgium. In the past, the government of Belgium has attempted to ban the wearing of the headscarf. The school boards have the right to restrict girls from wearing a headscarf.
Judaism In Belgium
There are around 40,000 (0.3% of the population) Jews in Belgium today. The Jewish community of Antwerp is one of the largest single Jewish communities in Europe. The Jewish children in Antwerp are subjected to Jewish system of education. The Jewish in Belgium have over 45 active synagogues of which 30 are in Antwerp. The history of Judaism in Belgium dates back to 50 and 60 AD with the arrival of Roman in the present day Belgium-territory.
The Non-believers And Minor Religions
Belgium is characterized by a large population of the irreligion and atheism numbering about 29% of the population. The majority of the irreligious and atheists in the country have a religious background. The irreligion in Belgium has been encouraged by pillarization which enables the irreligious individuals and their families to access counseling and celebrate life’s moments. Some of the minor religions in Belgium include folk or traditional religion and animisms, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Holy Corner, and Scientology. The minor religions in the country account for about 0.5% of the Belgium population.
The Religious Composition Of Belgium
|Rank||Religion||Population Practicing The Religion, 2010||% Of The Total Population Of Belgium|
|5||Folk Religion||21420||0.20 %|
|7||Other Religions||10000||0.09 %|