news 22 Feb 13

Census Shows Serbians Sticking With God

Results of the census published on Thursday show around 94 per cent of the population are religious believers, far higher than the percentage in most European countries.

BIRN
Belgrade

The results of the 2011 census in Serbia confirm that half a century of official atheism under the Communist system failed to dent Serbs' belief in a deity.

Data show that 94 per cent of the population see themselves as believers, making Serbia one of the most religious countries in Europe, where the average percentage of believers these days is about 60 per cent.

Almost 3 per cent of people chose not to declare themselves on religion, or mocked the question by declaring that they believed in the Beatles, Karl Marx or in Mahatma Ghandi.

The largest religious community by far is that of the Serbian Orthodox Church, which numbers 6.6 million members, or 85 per cent of the population. Serbia is home to 7.1 million people in total.

Catholics make up about 5 per cent of the population, mainly comprising ethnic Croats and ethnic Hungarians in the far north of the country.

Three per cent declared themselves Muslims. Bosniaks [Muslims] are the dominant community in several municipalities in the southwest Sanzak region.

About 1 per cent of the population are Protestants and another 1 per cent are declared atheists. There are only 578 Jews, the data show.

The 2011 results are much the same as those in the 2002 census when it comes to religion.

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