Chapter 10: The pendulum of church–state relations in Hungary
Freedom of religion or belief was not a particularly contentious issue in Hungary for the first two decades after the transition from Communism to democracy. Indeed, until the spring of 2011, it was a matter of less than moderate public concern. Unlike many countries in Western Europe, Hungary is not a primary target for immigration and asylum seekers, and it still does not have a very visible or sizeable Muslim community. In common with most other post-Communist EU member states, surveys found that Hungarians appeared not to regard religious discrimination as being a serious problem in Hungarian society. In the last population census of 2001, the majority of the population listed themselves as Roman Catholic (52 per cent), with the second largest segment being Calvinist Protestants (almost 16 per cent), the third largest the Lutheran Protestants (or Evangelicals, as they are known in Hungary, with 3 per cent), with less than 1 per cent identifying as Jewish. At the same census, 15 per cent of the respondents declared that they did not belong to a church, while 10 per cent refused to answer the question. Religious identification, admittedly, translates to less active religious participation in Hungary than in other Central European democracies.
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