Religion in Sweden
Lutheran Christianity is officially the largest religion in Sweden, with 6.2 million Swedish citizens being members of the Church of Sweden. The high membership figure is mainly due to the fact that until 1996 all newborn children with at least one parent being a member of the church were made members. Other Christian Churches include the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, islam is the second largest religion in Sweden, practiced by 5% of the population. The rest of the population are irreligious or members of other religious groups. Sweden was Christianized from Norse paganism during a period, not final until the 1130s. Since the 16th century, Sweden has been predominantly Lutheran, from the Protestant Reformation in the 1530s until 2000, the Lutheran Church of Sweden was the state church. As of 2015,63. 3% of Swedish citizens are members of the Church of Sweden, compared to over 95% in 1970, atheism and agnosticism are widespread in Swedish society. In a Eurobarometer Poll in 2010, just 18% of Swedish citizens responded that they there is a god.
In a 2009 Gallup poll, 17% answered yes to the question Is religion an important part of daily life. A survey found that only 15% of Church of Sweden members actually believe in Jesus, while another 15% identified as atheists, less than 4% of the Church of Sweden membership attends public worship during an average week, about 2% are regular attendees. Some scholars consider the nation to be a place where religion is regarded with “benign indifference”. The history of the Jews in Sweden can be traced back to the 17th century, because of immigration in the latter part of the 20th century, there is today a sizeable minority of Muslims and Roman Catholics. Before the 11th century, most Swedes adhered to Norse paganism, worshipping Æsir gods, the shape and location of this temple is sparsely documented, but it is referenced in the Norse sagas and Saxo Grammaticus Gesta Danorum, and is described by Adam of Bremen. It was probably destroyed by King Ingold I in 1087 during the last known battle between the pagans and the Christians, the oldest evidence of Christian burial sites in Sweden are dated to the 6th century, but they are very few in number.
The earliest documented campaign to Christianize the territory that form today is the country of Sweden was made by the monk Ansgar. Making his first visit to Birka in 828-829, he was granted permission to build a church, in 831, he returned home and became Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, with responsibility for Christianity in the north. Around 850, he back to Birka, where the original congregation had been shattered. Ansgar tried to reestablish it, but it lasted a few years
Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a country in Eurasia. The European western part of the country is more populated and urbanised than the eastern. Russias capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world, other urban centers include Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a range of environments. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, the East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, in 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus ultimately disintegrated into a number of states, most of the Rus lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion. The Soviet Union played a role in the Allied victory in World War II.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the worlds first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the second largest economy, largest standing military in the world. It is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic, the Russian economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2015. Russias extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the producers of oil. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. The name Russia is derived from Rus, a state populated mostly by the East Slavs. However, this name became more prominent in the history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants Русская Земля.
In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus by modern historiography, an old Latin version of the name Rus was Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus that were adjacent to Catholic Europe. The current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Kievan Rus, the standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is Russians in English and rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are translated into English as Russians
Religion in Iceland
Starting in the 1530s, originally Roman Catholic and under the Danish crown, formally became Lutheran under the Icelandic Reformation, which culminated in 1550. As such, Iceland has a state Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, the state church is supported by the government, but all registered religions received support from a church tax paid by taxpayers over the age of 16 years. According to government records, the population is at present overwhelmingly Lutheran, although Catholics, the largest non-Christian religious grouping is Ásatrú. The earliest inhabitants of Iceland were Irish monks, known as Papar, the small population was soon overwhelmed by migrations of Scandinavians, most of whom practiced what can loosely be called Germanic paganism, in the eighth and ninth centuries. The Christianisation of Iceland, like the rest of Scandinavia, was a process, beginning before official conversion. Particularly through the influence of missionaries and pressure from the Norwegian king.
During the Reformation, Iceland adopted Lutheranism in place of its earlier Roman Catholicism and this led to resistance, which escalated nearly to the point of civil war. Jón Arason and Ögmundur Pálsson, the Catholic bishops of Skálholt and Hólar respectively, opposition to the Reformation effectively ended in 1550 when Jón was captured after being defeated in the Battle of Sauðafell by loyalist forces under Daði Guðmundsson. Jón and his two sons were beheaded in Skálholt on November 7,1550. With Lutheranism firmly in place, Catholicism was outlawed, and Catholic church property was assumed by Icelands rulers and those Catholics who refused to convert eventually fled, generally to Scotland. No Catholic priest was permitted be present in Iceland for more than three centuries, the Catholic Church resumed missionary activities in Iceland from the 1850s, and today about 11,500 Icelanders belong to that faith. Starting in the century, Pietism rose in importance due to activity from Denmark. The pietists expanded printing and literature in Iceland, however and literacy for the Pietists was primarily or solely to have a religious function and they discouraged anything without religious meaning.
This led to encouraging a certain dourness to Iceland by discouraging dancing or other entertainment, about 281,000 Icelanders are members of Christian congregations, of whom most are members of the Church of Iceland. According to a 2004 survey 69. 3% of the population claimed to be religious. Of those who said they were religious,76.3 per cent said that they were Christian, there is a state church and the government pays the salaries of the 140 ministers in it. The state church is responsible for running all cemeteries and people of any belief or none can be buried in them. If they are not registered the money goes into the general revenue, people are free to belong to unrecognized religious or philosophical organizations
Christianity in Ireland
Christianity is and has been the largest religion in Ireland. Most Christian churches are organized on a basis, including both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland,84. 2% of the population adheres to the Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholicism in Ireland is part of the worldwide Catholic Church. The Catholic Church in Ireland serves Catholics in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland under the leadership of Pope Francis and the Conference of Irish Bishops. In the Republic of Ireland,87. 4% of the citizens were baptised Catholic as infants while the figure for Northern Ireland is 43. 8%. Christianity had arrived in Ireland by the early 5th century, and spread through the works of early missionaries such as Palladius, the Church is organised into four provinces, these are not coterminous with the modern civil provincial divisions. The church is led by four archbishops and twenty-three bishops, because there have been amalgamations and absorptions, for instance, the diocese of Cashel has been joined with the diocese of Emly, Waterford with Lismore, and Ardagh with Clonmacnoise.
The bishop of Galway is the Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora, there are 1,087 parishes, a few of which are governed by administrators, the remainder by parish priests. There about 3,000 secular clergy—parish priests, curates, the total number of the regular clergy is about 700. They are engaged either in teaching or in giving missions, Irish travellers have traditionally adopted a very particular attitude to the Catholic church, with a focus on figures such as healing priests. More generally a tradition of visions continues, often outside of Church sanction, the majority of the people of Northern Ireland are recorded as members of the various Protestant churches such as the Presbyterian Church, Church of Ireland, Methodist Church and several others. While the Roman Catholic Church is the largest single denomination in either jurisdiction, in the Republic of Ireland, approximately 3% were recorded as members of various Protestant. The proportion was more than 10% in 1891 – a drop to less than a third of the previous percentage, the percentage in 2011 is almost 5%.
In 1861, only the west coast and Kilkenny had less than 6% Protestant population and two of the border counties had over 20% Protestant. By 1991, all counties had fewer than 6% Protestants, there are no counties in the Republic of Ireland which have experienced a rise in the relative Protestant population over the period 1861 to 1991. The counties which retain the highest proportion of Protestants tend to be those which started off with a large proportion, in Northern Ireland, only counties Londonderry and Armagh have experienced a significant loss of relative Protestant population, though at a lesser rate than in the Republic. The Church of Ireland is a province of the Anglican Communion, operating across the island of Ireland. The reformed Church in Ireland became the church, assuming possession of most church property
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria, San Marino, Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is referred to in Italy as lo Stivale. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state, the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, exploration, Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and Machiavelli. The weakened sovereigns soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France and Austria.
Despite being one of the victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil. The subsequent participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in defeat, economic destruction. Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and it has a very high level of human development and is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs, as a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country. The assumptions on the etymology of the name Italia are very numerous, according to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning land of young cattle. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned by Aristotle and Thucydides.
The name Italia originally applied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy – according to Antiochus of Syracuse, but by his time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name Italia to a larger region, excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago, modern Humans arrived about 40,000 years ago. Other ancient Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern world
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically known as Hellas, is a country in southeastern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2015. Athens is the capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. Greece consists of nine regions, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Crete. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a vast number of islands, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea.
Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming a part of the Roman Empire and its successor. The Greek Orthodox Church shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World, falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greeces rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe, Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Greeces unique cultural heritage, large industry, prominent shipping sector. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor, the names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, all three stages of the stone age are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries and these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC and this ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent. The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, in 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the worlds first democratic system of government in Athens
Religion in France
France is a country where freedom of religion and freedom of thought are guaranteed by virtue of the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The Republic is based on the principle of laïcité enforced by the 1880s Jules Ferry laws and the 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches, while millions in France continue to attend religious services regularly, the overall level of observance is considerably lower than in the past. This makes France one of the more atheistic countries in the world, France guarantees freedom of religion as a constitutional right and the government generally respects this right in practice. Catholicism is the religion in France. During the Ancien Régime, France had traditionally considered the Churchs eldest daughter. This led to conflicts, in particular during the Reformation between Catholics and Huguenots. A strong Protestant population resided in France, primarily of Reformed confession and it was persecuted by the state for most of the time, with temporary periods of relative toleration.
These wars continued throughout the 16th century, with the 1572 St. Bartholomews Day massacre as its apex, for the first time, Huguenots were considered by the state as more than mere schismatics and heretics. The Edict of Nantes thus opened a path for secularism and tolerance, Religious conflicts resumed in the end of the 17th century, when Louis XIV, the Sun King, initiated the persecution of Huguenots by introducing the dragonnades in 1681. These wave of violence intimidated the Protestants into converting to Catholicism and he made this policy official with the 1685 revocation of the Edict of Nantes. On 17 January 1686, Louis XIV himself claimed that out of a Huguenot population of 800,000 to 900,000, a Camisard rebellion broke out in 1702 in the Cevennes mountains. The experiment of religious toleration in Europe was effectively ended for the time being, in practice, the revocation caused France to suffer a brain drain, as it lost a large number of skilled craftsmen, including key designers such as Daniel Marot.
Some rulers, such as Frederick Wilhelm of Brandenburg, who issued the Edict of Potsdam, encouraged the Protestants to flee, during the French Revolution, the Catholic Church lost its power and influence. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy, passed in 1790, put the Catholic Church under state control, while the clergy was persecuted by the commune of Paris and some of the representatives on mission, new religions and philosophies were allowed to compete with Catholicism. Following the Thermidorian Reaction the persecutions ceased but the schism between the French government and the Catholic Church wouldnt end until the Concordat of 1801 by Napoleon. After the Bourbon Restoration and the coming to power of the Ultra-royalists in the Chambre introuvable, under Villèles ultra-royalist government, the Chamber voted in the extreme 1830 Anti-Sacrilege Act. A1905 law instituted the separation of Church and State and prohibited the government from recognising, salarying or subsidising any religion, however the Briand-Ceretti Agreement subsequently restored for a while a formal role for the state in the appointment of Catholic bishops.
For similar historical reasons, Catholic priests in French Guiana are civil servants of the local government, Religious buildings built prior to 1905 at taxpayers expense are retained by the local or national government, and may be used at no expense by religious organizations
Religion in the United Kingdom
Religion in the United Kingdom and in the countries that preceded it has been dominated, for over 1,400 years, by various forms of Christianity. According to the 2011 UK census, Christianity is the religion, followed by Islam. Among Christians, Anglicans are the most common denomination, followed by Roman Catholics and this, and the relatively large number of individuals with nominal or no religious affiliations, has led commentators to variously describe the United Kingdom as a multi-faith and secularised society. The United Kingdom was formed by the union of independent countries from 1707. While some groups have structures for the individual countries of the United Kingdom, others may have a single structure covering England. Similarly, due to the recent creation of Northern Ireland in 1921. While the United Kingdom as a whole lacks an official religion, the Monarch of the United Kingdom is the Supreme Governor of the Church, and accordingly, only a Protestant may inherit the British throne.
Pre-Roman forms of religion in Britain included various forms of ancestor worship, little is known about the details of such religions. Forms of Christianity have dominated religious life in what is now the United Kingdom for over 1,400 years and it was introduced by the Romans to what is now England and Southern Scotland. The doctrine of Pelagianism, declared heretical in the Council of Carthage of 418, originated with a British-born ascetic, still in the Anglo-Saxon period, the archbishops of Canterbury established a tradition of receiving their pallium from Rome to symbolize the authority of the Pope. It retains a representation in the UK Parliament and the British monarch is its Supreme Governor, in Scotland, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, established in a separate Scottish Reformation in the sixteenth century, is recognised as the national church. The adherence to Roman Catholicism continued at levels in different parts of Britain, especially among recusants and in the north of England.
This would expand in Great Britain, partly due to Irish immigration in the century, the Catholic emancipation. Particularly from the century, forms of Protestant nonconformity, including Congregationalists, Quakers and, Methodists. The Church in Wales was disestablished in 1920 and, as the Church of Ireland was disestablished in 1870 before the partition of Ireland, the Jews in England were expelled in 1290 and only emancipated in the 19th century. British Jews had numbered fewer than 10,000 in 1800, scholars have suggested multiple possible reasons for the decline, but have not agreed on their relative importance. Martin Wellings lays out the model of secularization, while noting that it has been challenged by some scholars. The statistics for current religion from the 2011 census and the statistics from the 2001 census are set out in the tables below
Religion in Switzerland
Christianity is the predominant religion of Switzerland, its presence going back to the Roman era. Since the 16th century, Switzerland has been divided into Roman Catholic. However, adherence to churches has declined since the late 20th century, furthermore notable is the significant difference in church adherence between Swiss citizens and foreign nationals in 2015. Switzerland as a state has no state religion, though most of the cantons recognize official churches, in all cases including the Catholic Church. These churches, and in some the Old Catholic Church. The country was historically about evenly balanced between Catholic and Protestant, with a patchwork of majorities over most of the country. One canton, was divided into Catholic and Protestant sections in 1597. The larger cities and their cantons used to be predominantly Protestant, central Switzerland, the Valais, the Ticino, Appenzell Innerrhodes, the Jura, and Fribourg are traditionally Catholic. A1980 initiative calling for the separation of church and state was rejected by 78. 9% of the voters.
31% of all Catholics are foreign nationals vice versa 5% with Protestants, the unaffiliated form 21. 6% of Switzerlands population as of 2012, and are especially strong in canton of Basel-City, canton of Neuchâtel, canton of Geneva, canton of Vaud, and Zürich. Rather recent immigration during the last 25 years has brought Islam, other Christian minority communities include Neo-Pietism, Methodism, the New Apostolic Church, Jehovahs Witnesses, and the Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland as of 2000. Minor non-Christian minority groups are Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions,3. 6% did not make a statement on the 2000 census. However, the Catholic Jesuits were banned from all activities in either clerical or pedagogical functions by Article 51 of the Swiss constitution in 1848, the reason was the perceived threat resulting from Jesuit advocacy of traditionalist Catholicism to the stability of the state. The settlement restrictions placed on Swiss Jews in various instances between the 14th and 18th centuries were lifted with the revised Swiss Constitution of 1874, in November 2009,57.
5% of Swiss voters approved of a popular initiative to ban the construction of minarets in Switzerland. The four existing Swiss minarets, at mosques in Zurich, Winterthur, full freedom of religion has been guaranteed since the revised Swiss Constitution of 1874. During the Old Swiss Confederacy, there had been no de facto freedom of religion, Swiss Jews had been given full political rights in 1866, although their right to settle freely was implemented as late as 1879 in the canton of Aargau. The basic right protected by the constitution is that of public confession of adherence to a religious community, Article 36 of the constitution introduces a limitation of these rights if they conflict with public interest or if they encroach upon the basic rights of others. Thus, ritual slaughter is prohibited as conflicting with Swiss animal laws, performance of cultic or missionary activities or religious processions on public ground may be limited
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that it is the One, Holy and Apostolic Church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission to the apostles. It practices what it understands to be the original Christian faith, the Eastern Orthodox Church is a communion of autocephalous churches, each typically governed by a Holy Synod. It teaches that all bishops are equal by virtue of their ordination, prior to the Council of Chalcedon in AD451, the Eastern Orthodox had shared communion with the Oriental Orthodox churches, separating primarily over differences in Christology. Eastern Orthodoxy spread throughout the Roman and Eastern Roman Empires and beyond, playing a prominent role in European, Near Eastern and some African cultures. As a result, the term Greek Orthodox has sometimes used to describe all of Eastern Orthodoxy in general. However, the appellation Greek was never in use and was gradually abandoned by the non-Greek-speaking Eastern Orthodox churches. Its most prominent episcopal see is Constantinople, there are many in other parts of the world, formed through immigration and missionary activity.
The official name of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the Orthodox Catholic Church and it is the name by which the church refers to itself in its liturgical or canonical texts, in official publications, and in official contexts or administrative documents. Orthodox teachers refer to the Church as Catholic and this name and longer variants containing Catholic are recognized and referenced in other books and publications by secular or non-Orthodox writers. The common name of the Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, is a shortened practicality that helps to avoid confusions in casual use, for this reason, the eastern churches were sometimes identified as Greek, even before the great schism. After 1054, Greek Orthodox or Greek Catholic marked a church as being in communion with Constantinople and this identification with Greek, became increasingly confusing with time. Missionaries brought Orthodoxy to many regions without ethnic Greeks, where the Greek language was not spoken. Today, many of those same Roman churches remain, while a large number of Orthodox are not of Greek national origin.
Eastern, indicates the element in the Churchs origin and development, while Orthodox indicates the faith. While the Church continues officially to call itself Catholic, for reasons of universality, the first known use of the phrase the catholic church occurred in a letter written about 110 AD from one Greek church to another. Quote of St Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus may be, almost from the very beginning, Christians referred to the Church as the One, Holy and Apostolic Church. The Orthodox Church claims that it is today the continuation and preservation of that same Church, a number of other Christian churches make a similar claim, the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Assyrian Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church, not directly from the Orthodox Church, the depth of this meaning in the Orthodox Church is registered first in its use of the word Orthodox itself, a union of Greek orthos and doxa