Church-state relations in Czechia


The paper analyses the interaction of the State and church in Czechia, a country that can be characterised by a high degree of secularisation. Nevertheless, a lot of religious activities still take place in a secular state like Czechia and this even extends to a ‘sacralisation’ of the landscape. However, the State does not interfere with the internal structures of the individual churches or religious communities. It only creates general conditions for relations between the State and these churches and communities. The co-existence of the State and the church and the influence of religions on the State reflect the pluralism of a post-modern society and also of a post-communist state like Czechia.

This study is also intended to contribute to the comparative research of church-state relations in Central Europe, which have been influenced by multi-confessional belts and especially Lutheran and Catholic alliances (Madeley 2003). The aims of this paper are threefold: (a) a description of the historic development of the state-church relations in Czechia; (b) an analysis of the challenge of that historic pattern as regards secularization and globalization and a significant rise in immigrant religions; (c) an analysis of the impact on state-church relations of re-territorialisation within the framework of the European Union and the dividing up of Czechoslovakia.

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This paper is the result of research findings sponsored by a financial grant, project GA AV: No. IAA701110701 “Differentiation of changes of religious landscape in Czechia during the period of transformation”. The author would like to thank the sponsors for their financial support.

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Correspondence to Tomáš Havlíček.

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Havlíček, T. Church-state relations in Czechia. GeoJournal 67, 331–340 (2006).

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  • Religion
  • State
  • Czechia
  • Religious landscape
  • Secularization