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Church in Clervaux, Luxembourg

There are many active religions in Luxembourg. The most important, in terms of size of congregation and historical importance, is Roman Catholicism, but the state does not support, or discriminate against, any one single religion.

Contents

Demographics

Since 1979 it has been illegal for the government to collect statistics on religious beliefs or practices.[1] It is estimated by the CIA Factbook that 87% of Luxembourgers are Roman Catholics, the remaining 13% being made up of Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims and those of other or no religion.[2]

According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005,[3]

  • 44% of Luxembourgish citizens responded that "they believe there is a God".
  • 28% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force".
  • 22% answered that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".

State intervention

Luxembourg is a secular state, but the Grand Duchy recognises and supports several denominations, in exchange for which, the state is allowed a hand in their affairs. This status, first afforded to the Roman Catholic Church, stems from Napoleon's Concordat of 1801, the principles of which have continued to apply to Luxembourg, despite its separation from France in 1815 and its subsequent Dutch ownership.

Despite having the same roots as France's official position of laïcité, Luxembourg's approach to religion has taken a different direction in the past 200 years, reducing the separation of church and state, not increasing it. The state currently recognises Roman Catholicism, Judaism, Greek and Russian Orthodox Christianity, and Protestantism as officially mandated religions. In 2003, representatives of Islam, Anglicanism, and Romanian and Serbian Orthodox Christianity engaged in discussions to be conferred similar status, but without success.[4]

Roman Catholicism

Roman Catholicism is the most practised religion in Luxembourg. Luxembourg was a major centre for Christianity during the Middle Ages, Roman Catholicism was sustained through the Reformation by the hierarchy, buildings, and traditions established in the preceding centuries. The Catholic Church has received state support since 1801.

Protestantism

Protestantism is the largest minority religion in Luxembourg, with estimates of adherents ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 (1% to 3.2% of the population). They are divided across several Protestant churches and creeds, including Lutheranism, Calvinism, Anglicanism, Presbyterianism, and Evangelicalism. The largest Protestant churches in the Grand Duchy are the Protestant Church of Luxembourg (PKL), Protestant Reformed Church of Luxembourg (PRKL), Evangelical Church in Germany, Church of England, and Protestant Church in the Netherlands. The state has supported the PKL since 1894 and the PRKL since 1982.

Judaism

Luxembourg's Jewish community dates back at least as far as the 13th century, making Judaism the minority religion that has been practised the longest in Luxembourg. Today, Luxembourg's Jews number approximately 1,200, of whom, 650 practise actively. There are very few Orthodox Jews in Luxembourg.[5] During the Holocaust, 1,945 Jewish Luxembourgers were killed, out of a pre-war population of 3,500. Judaism is supported by the state.

Islam

In Luxembourg there live about 10,000 to 12,000 Muslims (est. 2009), who represent 2.2% of the total population. In addition, hundreds of Muslims come to work in Luxembourg every workday.

There are six mosques in Luxembourg as well as one multi-use room for Muslims, none of which have minarets. Many Luxembourgian Muslims pray in mosques in France, Belgium or Germany.

Most Muslims have origins in the Balkans (approximately 60%), while Arab and other Muslim countries represent about 20%. Subsaharan Muslims account for about 5%, and 15% are Europeans.

In the past years, a significant rise in the number of converts has been noticed; the Muslim community of Luxembourg is more and more European.

See also

References

  1. ^ (French) "Mémorial A, 1979, No. 29" (PDF). Service central de législation. http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/1979/0291104/0291104.pdf#page=2. Retrieved 2006-08-01.  
  2. ^ "World Factbook - Luxembourg". Central Intelligence Agency. 19 December 2006. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/lu.html. Retrieved 2007-01-13.  
  3. ^ "Eurobarometer on Social Values, Science and technology 2005 - page 11". http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_225_report_en.pdf. Retrieved 2007-05-05.  
  4. ^ International Religious Freedom Report 2004 - Luxembourg. 8 November 2004. US Department of State. URL accessed 24 May 2006.
  5. ^ Manifestations of Anti-Semitism in the European Union - Luxembourg. 1 December 2003. European Union. URL accessed 24 May 2006.
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