Religion in Luxembourg (2021)[1]

  Catholicism (46%)
  Protestantism (2%)
  Other Christians (3%)
  Agnosticism (25%)
  Atheism (13%)
  Islam (1%)
  Buddhism (1%)
  Judaism (1%)
  Other (5%)
  Undeclared (1%)
Church in Clervaux, Luxembourg

Christianity is the largest religion in Luxembourg, with significant minorities of non-religious people and adherents of other faiths.

As of 2018, 73.2% of Luxembourg's population adhere to forms of Christianity (63.8% are Catholics, 1.8% are Protestants, 3.0% are Orthodox Christians while 4.6% adhere to other Christian denominations). 2.6% of the population are Muslims and 0.6% are followers of other non-Christian religions. 23.4% of the population do not have a religion.[2][3][4]

Demographics

Since 1979 it has been illegal for the government to collect statistics on religious beliefs or practices.[5]

According to a 2010 Pew Research Center study 70.4% are Christian, 2.3% Muslim, 26.8% Unaffiliated and 0,5% other religions.[6]

Religious
group
Population
% 2019[7]
Population
% 2021[1]
Christianity 63% 53%
Catholicism 56% 46%
Protestantism 2% 2%
Orthodox Christianity 1% 2%
Other Christians 4% 3%
Islam 2% 1%
Judaism 1% 1%
Buddhism 0% 1%
Atheism 10% 13%
Not religious or agnosticism 16% 25%
Other 6% 5%
Unspecified including "Refusal to answer" and "Do not know" 2% 1%

According to the Eurobarometer Poll 2005,[8]

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 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 the Catholic Church, Judaism, Greek and Russian Eastern 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.[9] A process began in the mid-2000s in which increasingly the tight entanglement between church and state in Luxembourg was questioned. This was partially stimulated by several events, such as the debate on Catholic Church sexual abuse or the Grandduke's religiously motivated refusal to sign a euthanasia bill adopted by Parliament.[10] This led to the 2007 formation of an alliance of eight organisations, who made the separation of church and state their goal.[11] In 2010, a petition was launched under the name of Trennung.lu ("Separation.lu"), that demanded the separation of church and state in Luxembourg. It was supported by, amongst others, the youth wings of several political parties.[12] The Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an Agnostiker, founded in 2010, became one of the most vocal advocates of secularism in Luxembourg.

In January 2015, the government concluded a new convention with the recognised religions, regrouping the Greek, Romanian, Serbian and Russian Orthodox Churches in one Orthodox Church in Luxembourg, represented by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Belgium, Exarch of the Low Countries and Luxembourg, under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and adding the Anglican Church and the Muslim Community of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg to the list of recognised religions.[13] This convention has not yet entered into force, however.[14] Moreover, seven non-religious organisations demanded a say in the negotiations about the future financing of religions by the state and the continuation of religion classes in public schools, both of which they demanded to be abolished.[15]

Catholic Church

Main article: Catholic Church in Luxembourg

Catholicism is the most practised religion in Luxembourg. Luxembourg was a major centre for Christianity during the Middle Ages, 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

Main article: Protestantism in Luxembourg

Protestantism was outlawed in Luxembourg until 1768. By 1815, Luxembourg had small populations of Lutherans, Calvinists, and Waldensians. In 1885, there were 1,100 recorded Protestants out of 213,000 inhabitants of Luxembourg, that is 0.516%. By 1914, there were more than 6,000, or approximately 2.3%. Today it's 3%.

Protestantism is a minority religion in Luxembourg. They are divided across several Protestant churches and creeds, including Lutheranism, Calvinism, Anglicanism, and diverse Evangelical Protestant churches. The largest Protestant churches in the Grand Duchy are the Protestant Church of Luxembourg (PKL), Protestant Reformed Church of Luxembourg (PRKL), Protestant 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.

Islam

Main article: Islam in Luxembourg

In Luxembourg there are about 18,000 to 20,000 Muslims (est. 2022).[16] 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 Luxembourgish Muslims pray in mosques in France, Belgium or Germany. Most Muslims have origins in the Balkans (Bosniaks and Albanians approximately 60%), while Arab and other Muslim countries represent about 20%. Sub-Saharan African Muslims account for about 5%, and 15% are other Europeans.

Judaism

Main article: History of the Jews in Luxembourg

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. There were 1,500 Orthodox Jews in Luxembourg in 2022.[16] [17] During the Holocaust, 1,945 Jewish Luxembourgers were killed, out of a pre-war population of 3,500. Judaism is supported by the state.

Irreligion

See also: Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an Agnostiker

AHA's Atheist Bus Campaign, spring 2011:
"Not religious? Stand up for it!"

In the 2000s, surveys showed an increasing share of the population no longer feels connected to Catholicism. In 2002, 94% was still formally Catholic,[18] but in 2008, 25% of the Luxembourgers said they did not belong to any religion.[3] By 2022, over 30% of the populations said they were agnostic, atheist or had no religious belief.[16]

A lot of people were increasingly estranged by the Church's belief system, and yet were still members of it, solidifying the current situation. This caused both the association Liberté de conscience ("Freedom of Conscience") and the Internet portal sokrates.lu to launch the website Fraiheet.lu ("Freedom.lu") in 2009, to inform citizens about the options for religious disaffiliation.

This secularisation, combined with the struggle to separate church and state, eventually led to the foundation of the Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an Agnostiker in the spring of 2010. It intended to unite the hitherto scattered organised activities by humanist, atheist, agnostic, skeptical and secularist thinking people into one force.[19] The foundation was also explicitly welcomed by, amongst others, politicians from several parties.[20]

Freedom of religion

In 2023, the country was scored 4 out of 4 for religious freedom.[21]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Special Eurobarometer 516 : European citizens' knowledge and attitudes towards science and technology". European Union: European Commission. September 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2023 – via European Data Portal (see Volume C: Country/socio-demographics: LU: Question D90.2.).
  2. ^ Eurobarometer 90.4: Attitudes of Europeans towards Biodiversity, Awareness and Perceptions of EU customs, and Perceptions of Antisemitism. European Commission. Archived from the original on 13 March 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2019 – via GESIS.
  3. ^ a b EVS Luxembourg 2008 CEPS/INSTEAD
  4. ^ "Discrimination in the EU in 2012 – Special Eurobarometer 393 (The question asked was "Do you consider yourself to be...?")" (PDF). European Commission. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Mémorial A, 1979, No. 29" (PDF) (in French). Service central de législation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 August 2006. Retrieved 1 August 2006.
  6. ^ Global Religious Landscape Archived 16 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine Pew Research Center 2010
  7. ^ "Special Eurobarometer 493, European Union: European Commission, October 2019, pages 229-230". European Commission. Retrieved 9 December 2023.
  8. ^ "Eurobarometer on Social Values, Science and technology 2005 - page 11" (PDF). Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  9. ^ International Religious Freedom Report 2004 - Luxembourg. 8 November 2004. US Department of State. URL accessed 24 May 2006.
  10. ^ Manuel Huss (18 December 2008). "Luxemburg: Sterbehilfe depenalisiert" (in German). Humanistischer Pressedienst. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  11. ^ Grete Meißel (31 October 2007). "Trennung von Kirche und Staat in Luxemburg" (in German). Humanistischer Pressedienst. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  12. ^ "Trennung.lu". Archived from the original on 1 July 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  13. ^ Convention entre l’État du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg et les communautés religieuses établies au Luxembourg
  14. ^ Accord du gouvernement avec les communautés religieuses établies au Luxembourg - Article on gouvernment.lu
  15. ^ "Les non-religieux veulent aussi être consultés". L'essentiel (in French). Edita SA. 18 January 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  16. ^ a b c US State Dept 2022 report
  17. ^ Manifestations of Anti-Semitism in the European Union - Luxembourg. 1 December 2003. European Union. URL accessed 24 May 2006.
  18. ^ Encarta-encyclopedie Winkler Prins (1993-2002) s.v. Luxemburg: feiten en cijfers. Microsoft Corporation/Het Spectrum (in Dutch).
  19. ^ Fiona Lorenz (11 November 2010). "AHA! Auftakt der Humanisten in Luxemburg" (in German). Humanistischer Pressedienst. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  20. ^ "Luxembourg launches Humanist association". IHEU website. International Humanist and Ethical Union. 3 November 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  21. ^ Freedom House website, retrieved 2023-08-08