AUTHOR: Jiři VOGEL
Danubius, XXXV, Galaţi, 2017, pp. 437-454.
At first, the paper outlines the advancing secularization of society in the Czech Republic in the last 25 years. This movement shows itself especially by reducing the number of believers of the traditional churches. This rapidly declining trend occurs nowhere in the world in this scale as neither evangelicals nor new religious movements achieve any great success. Since 1990s, there has been a noticeable intensive increase in numbers of members of these communities and since the beginning of millennium, there is only modest growth, stabilization, or even a loss of membership bases. Some more permanent growth in the number of believers records only the Churches that are spiritually related to immigrants. Unorganized spirituality becomes gradually religious mainstream. The vast majority of the population, however, accustomed to look for social identity outside the realm of religion. The paper draws on data mainly from the statistics of the last three censuses in the Czech Republic in 1991, 2001 and 2011. It sees main reasons in the troubled past, which is burdened with many misinterpretations. Vague and negative perceptions of religious past create a barrier to social identification with traditional and new religious communities.