Religion and Social Participation in Postcommunist Europe

  • Mălina Voicu
  • Claudiu Tufiş


Previous studies have shown that religion has a positive effect on civic engagement, both beliefs and behaviors increasing the level of social participation. The relationship between religion, state, and society, however, is different in postcommunist countries. The communist regimes imposed a forced secularization, isolating religion into the private life and reducing its impact on public affairs. Using data from European Values Study, 2008 wave, collected in 21 postcommunist countries, this chapter investigates how postcommunist legacy shapes social participation in countries from Central and Eastern Europe. The data shows that church attendance has a significant positive effect on civil activism in the countries under investigation, while belonging to a Protestant denomination boosts the civil engagement. When one takes into account country’s main religious denomination, people living in countries with a strong Catholic tradition are more inclined to participate in civil associations, while those living in Orthodox countries are less predisposed to be civically active.


Country Level Social Participation Civic Engagement Church Attendance Voluntary Organization 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Data Archive for the Social SciencesGESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social SciencesCologneGermany
  2. 2.The Research Institute for Quality of LifeRomanian Academy of SciencesBucharestRomania
  3. 3.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of BucharestBucharestRomania

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