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Données sociologiques et juridiques sur la religion en Europe et au-delà

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Accueil > Slovaquie > Données socio-religieuses > Géographie religieuse > Géographie religieuse

Géographie religieuse

Historically, Slovak Republic has a specific position within the religious map of Europe. The eastern part of Slovakia marks a boundary between eastern and western Christianity. Therefore, the religious composition of Slovakia has always been diverse, and has remained so, to a certain extent, until today. Besides Christian communities, an important part of the religious portrait of Slovakia is also Jewish communities.

The western part of Christianity is represented in Slovakia by the dominant Roman Catholic Church. For most of its history, Roman Catholicism has been dominant in the present territory of Slovakia. Roman-Catholics almost disappeared from the religious map of Slovakia for only a few decades during the Reformation period, mostly in 16th century, Shortly after the Reformation, the counter-Reformation and re-catholization restored the former position and size of this church. The Greek-Catholic Church, as a form of union between Rome and part of Orthodox clergy, emerged in the 17th century in eastern Slovakia. According to the censuses carried out after the Patent of Toleration in 1781, the proportion of Roman Catholics in the population of Slovakia is generally increasing, and in 1950 reached about ¾ of Slovakian population (65% in 1869, and 76.2% in 1950). During the period of Socialism (1948-1989), the number of Catholics grew in absolute numbers, however, the proportion dropped. In the period after 1989, the proportion was at its highest in 2001 (69%), but started to decline in 2011 (62%). Roman Catholicism has been mostly dominant in the western part of Slovakia, and most notably in northern regions close to Poland where the proportion of Roman Catholics is still today over 90%. Greek Catholics can be found mostly in eastern parts of Slovakia, where they usually form up communities with the Orthodox and Roman Catholic population (proportion of Greek Catholics in 1869 was over 7%, in 2011 3.8% of the population of the Slovak Republic).

Protestantism is in Slovakia historically represented by the Lutheran Church (in Central European context, it is the Evangelical Church of Augsburg Confession) and the Reformed Christian Church (Calvinist). Lutherans are the largest Protestant body, although their size and proportion underwent quite notable changes. In 1869, they represented 16% of population of today´s Slovakia (Reformed 5.4%). In 2001, the proportion of Lutherans dropped to 6%, and of Reformed Christians to 1.8%. Lutherans usually resided in enclaves mostly in the western and central part of the country. They represented the main denomination especially in south-central Slovakia. Reformed Christians are mostly Hungarians, so they mostly live along the southern border with Hungary.

The fifth most numerous denomination are adherents of the Orthodox Church. Their number has risen notably during the 1950s, when Greek–Catholics were banned and their members were forced to join the Orthodox Church. The ban lasted until 1968. Therefore, Orthodox spatially share the same pattern of residence as Greek Catholics. Today (2011), almost 1% of the population of Slovakia belongs to this denomination.

The Jewish population was relatively numerous until the 1940s. In Slovakia, they were around 5% of the population (in 1930, 4%). They mostly lived in the cities, in the western and eastern regions of Slovakia. The diasporal character was also very typical. In 1880, for example, Jews were more or less present in almost 90% of all villages. During the 1940s, most of the Jewish population was transported and exterminated. Today, there are only 2 000 Jews living in Slovakia, mostly in the biggest cities and in southern Slovakia.

One of the largest groups within religious scene in Slovakia is the non-affiliated. The first important group emerged during the 1930s. It consisted of a few thousand individuals mostly residing in cities. The number of non-affiliated started to grow notably during the Socialism period, and in 1991 the “nones” were actually the second largest religious group (more than 0.5 million and almost 10% of the population). In 2011, non-affiliated represented more than 13% of the Slovakian population.

Overall, there are 18 officially registered denominations in Slovakia, most of them of Christian origin. Only 4 of these 18 denomination gather more than 1% of the population, and these four represent together almost ¾ of the population of Slovakia. The other denominations each gather less than 1% of the population ; adherents of these minor denominations live in the large cities (especially in Bratislava, which is the capital). Besides 10% of the population refused to declare any type of affiliation, religious or not.

24 novembre 2015