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.