Analysing patterns of religious participation in post-communist Eastern Europe

Ariana Need, Geoffrey Evans

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    46 Citations (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)


    It is generally thought that processes of modernization generic to industrialized societies have resulted in a process of secularization with respect to conventional religious participation and observance in most Western countries. It is not at all clear, however, whether the post-communist societies of Eastern Europe have followed this pattern. In this we paper we examine whether levels of religiosity in ten post-communist societies - five generally Catholic in orientation and five Orthodox - are consistent with secularization theory, or whether instead they display, as some have suggested, the impact of seven decades of atheistic communism followed by a recent resurgence among the young. For this purpose we examine denominational membership and church attendance using descriptive and multivariate analysis of large-scale national sample surveys conducted in the mid-1990s. We find that age and educational differences in participation rates follow patterns expected on the basis of secularization theory with no evidence of resurgence among younger groups. Also, however, Catholic participation rates are significantly higher than Orthodox ones, indicating the importance of denomination in understanding patterns of religiosity in the post-communist context.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)229-248
    Number of pages20
    JournalBritish Journal of Sociology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2001


    • Eastern Europe
    • Modernization
    • Post-communist societies
    • Religion
    • Religious participation


    Dive into the research topics of 'Analysing patterns of religious participation in post-communist Eastern Europe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this