Public support for the separation of church and state is widespread in Western Europe, even in countries that have a government-mandated church tax to fund religious institutions, according to a new analysis of a recent Pew Research Center study.
In general, Western European countries that have a mandatory church tax aren’t any less religious than those that don’t have such a tax.
Giving a share of one’s income to the church has been a part of European tradition for centuries. Today, several countries continue to collect a “church tax” on behalf of officially recognized religious organizations, in some cases levying the tax on all registered members.
Sizable majorities of adults in six European countries with a mandatory tax say they pay it and few say they are likely to opt out.
The generation of Central and Eastern Europeans raised after the fall of the Berlin Wall differs little in its political outlook from earlier generations.
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