Source: Pew Research Center
Atheist regimes dominated much of Central and Eastern Europe until the fall of the Iron Curtain and collapse of the Soviet Union between 1989 and 1991. Today, however, many of the governments in the region have an official state religion or an unofficial preferred faith.
In such countries, people are more likely to see religion and national identity as entwined, compared with citizens of neighboring Central and Eastern European states that lack official or favored faiths, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.
Residents of states with official or favored religions also are more likely to support government subsidies and a public policy role for their country’s predominant church.
Of the 18 countries the Center recently surveyed in the region, two (Armenia and Greece) have an official state religion. Nine others, including Russia and Poland, unofficially “prefer” a religion, bestowing disproportionate benefits on a particular religious group, although they do not officially recognize it.