Prague, January 26, 2022
Though Orthodoxy has an ancient history in the Czech Republic, Catholicism is by far the dominant religion there today. However, in 2021, the Orthodox Church grew enough there to become the second largest confession in the country.
According to the results of the 2021 census, the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia numbers 40,681 faithful in the Czech Republic. It has thus become larger than the Czech-Fraternal Evangelical Church (32,577) and the Czechoslovak Hussite Church (23,610), which held the second and third positions until this year.
Another 497 people identify as parishioners of the Moscow Patriarchate’s representation church in Karlovy Vary.
The main reason for the growth of the Orthodox Church is the arrival of faithful from abroad, primarily from Ukraine, but also other post-Soviet countries, Dr. Jakub Jiří Jukl explained in comments to the Union of Orthodox Journalists.
However, many of these immigrants have been in the Czech Republic for decades and are no longer considered foreigners.
“Many believers, although they were born abroad, have been living and working here for many years, and often decades, they have Czech citizenship, their children were born here or at least grew up here, studied, married, and had their own children, and they still attend Orthodox churches,” Jukl said.
741,019 people identified as members of the Roman Catholic church, while another 235,834 simply identified themselves as professing the Catholic faith, and 71,089 simply identified as “Christian.”
Read about the history of the Orthodox Church in the Czech Republic in the interview, “The Oldest Slavonic-Speaking Church,” with Archbishop Juraj of Michalovce and Košice.