Countries in Central and Eastern Europe have higher levels of traditional religious practice and are more likely to believe in God than Western Europeans, according to new research.
The survey was conducted by the Pew Research Centre. It comes as the editorial team for the Central Eastern European Bible Commentary (CEEBC) meets again this week.
Langham Literature is supporting the project, which involves authors from 13 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. They are writing commentaries on every book of the Bible. Over 100 additional articles on contextual issues for believers are also in the pipeline.
Christianity in decline
The Pew Research Centre survey also revealed that the Christian share of populations in Central and Eastern Europe are stable or increasing. But in Western Europe, Christianity is in decline.
The research involved questioning nearly 56,000 adults between 2015 and 2017 in 34 Western, Central and Eastern European countries.
Pew Research Centre’s findings touch on topics due to be covered in the commentary’s additional articles. These include abortion, homosexuality and the Church and State.
Church and State
According to the research, “Europeans are largely united in support of a separation between religion and government. More than half of adults in most countries say religion should be kept separate from government policies”.
Also, in Central and Eastern Europe, the majority in nearly all countries surveyed oppose same-sex marriage.
And the research revealed: “Even though abortion generally is legal in both Central/Eastern and Western Europe, there are regional differences in views on this topic, too. In every Western European nation surveyed – including the heavily Catholic countries of Ireland, Italy and Portugal – six-in-ten or more adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
“But in the East, views are more varied. To be sure, some Central and Eastern European countries, such as the Czech Republic, Estonia and Bulgaria, overwhelmingly favor legal abortion. But in several others, including Poland, Russia and Ukraine, the balance of opinion tilts in the other direction, with respondents more likely to say that abortion should be mostly or entirely illegal.”
Please pray for the CEEBC editorial team, as they grapple with writing a Bible commentary that is contextual, faithful and relevant. Pray also for those writing a Bible perspective on topical issues for the additional articles.
Read more about the Pew Research Centre’s survey.