Religious Change among Cohorts in Eastern Europe: A Longitudinal Analysis of Religious Practice and Belief in Formerly Communist Countries

Authors

Abstract

The situation of the former communist countries represents an anomaly within the sociological debate about the various secularisation processes currently underway in Europe. The main issues relate to whether or not Eastern Europe has experienced a religious revival following the fall of communism and, if so, which dimensions of religiosity are most involved in that revival. Sociologists have yet to reach a clear consensus on country trends or on the impact of Christian doctrines on these processes. We will address these issues throughout this article. The results from different piecewise regression analyses of European Values Study (EVS) data show that regular religious practice in general is declining from cohort to cohort, whereas religious belief has shown a revival followed by a decrease from the oldest to the youngest cohorts. The impact of a country’s main religious traditions is a relevant factor; predominantly Orthodox countries, for example, break with the overall results by showing a slight increase of religious practice as well as stable (and very high) belief among the youngest cohort. This situation is primarily driven by data from the Russian Federation and Bulgaria.

Author Biography

  • Francesco Molteni, Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali e Politiche

    Phd Candidate in Sociology and Methodology of Social Research

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Published

2020-05-19

How to Cite

Religious Change among Cohorts in Eastern Europe: A Longitudinal Analysis of Religious Practice and Belief in Formerly Communist Countries. (2020). Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe, 10(1), 35-53. https://rascee.net/index.php/rascee/article/view/90