Discussion in 'Culture' started by Kevinvsn13, Nov 14, 2006.
How many Czechs are christians.
Would any one like to talk faith?
I'll talk about Czechs and faith. :lol:
Ok, cute story. At least I think it cute, but it is about my wedding so I may be partial. :wink:
My husband and I got married in the Czech Republic. All of our guest were my husband's friends and family over there. Which means that most of our guests were atheists. However, my father is a minister and my husband's father, who lives here in the States is also a minister. My father performed the ceremony and my husband's father translated to Czech. We had the usual Christian ceremony with communion and candle lighting. Our guest were given mini-scrolls explaning (in czech) the spiritual significance of these rituals. At the reception, they were given book-marks with bible scriptures about love on each side (written in czech).
Well at the reception, our guest didn't seem to relax. I asked my husband why everyone was so uptight. He said that they probably had not heard God mentioned so much in thier entire lives as they had in the last hour. He said, "I don't think they know how to act, they think they are in church or something." Then he said, "The bar is open, but we are going to have to pass around a few bottles of slivovice to get them all to loosen up!" :twisted:
Another funny thing: We are protestant. However, my husband said that when most Czech people think of Christianity, they think of Catholicism. So we were given several crucifixes and a couple of rosaries as wedding gifts. I think it was so sweet that they not only respected our beliefs but that they wanted to support it by giving us Christian symbols even though they themselves were non-believers. Also, they were my husband's friends and family so they knew him when he grew up in Czechoslovkia. He grew up an atheist and didn't come to believe in God and get saved until he lived here in the States. His father actually lived here and told him about the Lord. So you would think that his Czech friends would have thought that he went to America and went crazy. But instead of thinking that (well maybe they still thought it) they supported it by purchasing items they thought he would want.
I love those gifts. I have the crucifixes hanging in our home. Our protestant friends come over and wonder why we have crucifixes hanging in our house. I simply smile and share this story. I also explain that a crucifix doesn't have to only belong to the Catholics. That we protestants should not only remember the resurection (by the empty cross) but also hold onto the memory of Christ's sacrifice for our sins by displaying a crucifix. Had it not been for our accepting and caring Czech atheist friends, I wouldn't have that to share with others.
Oh, so to answer your question, Is Jesus accepted in the CR? Although many may not accept him personally, they appear to accept those who believe in him.
thank you, that is a nice story. Well I asked because someday I would like to move to Cz. I feel like God has given me that passion. I am also a born again chrristian. From what I hear most Czechs are atheist. I have alot of czech blood and have been learning the language and customs for about a year.
What is your message at the end mean? Kolik řeči znaš, tolikrat jsi člověkem, i think
It's something like, how many languages you know is how many times you are a person.
This is my favourite topic, so I will answer with looong post
Czech republic has very big number of atheists (or agnostics or somethingism /this term I will explain lately). In 2001 census was all citizens of Czech republic asked about religion (and many other things) and 6,039,991 citizens (59 %) responded "no religion". Czech republic is often considered as most atheistic/secular country in the world and many Czechs are proud of it.
Foreigners sometimes assume, that it's because communist past. This is wrong assumption, because our post-communist neighbours, like Poland or Slovakia (Which was up to 1993 united with Czech republic into one country) are despite similar comunnist expirience mostly Catholic (Slovakia 69%, Poland 75-90%).
Roots of Czech scepticism to organized religion (no necessarily to specific god, goddess or gods) are dated since 15th century.
Key history moments (compressed - you can look up details via Google)
1414-15 Prague priest Jan Hus, who criticized bad things in church is called to church congreation in Kostnice, he is accussed of heresy and then he is burned to death.
This act raised husite rebellion. Church reacted to rebellion with 5 crusades against Czechs. Army of husites fought with crusaders and allways won.
1611... - After death of emperor Rudolf II discords again started between Catholics and reformists.
1618-20 - Bila hora battle. Czech army is defeated and protestants are punished. 27 Czech lords are publicly executed. Thirty year's war (1618-1648) decimate Czech nation from 3.000.000 to 800.000 people. Many Czechs are forced to leave country.
Forced recatolization started. Many books were banned and burned.
1918 - "First republic" - First really independent democratic Czechoslovak state is established. First president T.G.Masaryk, national hero, is outspoken rationalist and humanist. He considered catholicism as anti-national power, which suffocated everything positive and valuable in Czech history.
From 1938-1945 was country under rule of Nazi ideology. From 1948-1989 under communist ideology, which continuously changed from stalinism to "human-face socialism" to "normalization socialism" with Soviet tanks intervention as bonus in 1968. Through these 50 years, when lived under permanent censorship, Czechs learnt to identify propaganda and to distrust to any ideology.
During communism every church partially colaborated with regime in order to preserve its existence.
In context of Czech history isn't big surprise, that Czechs are distrustful to church.
Last 16 years
After fall of communism, church should have chance to change its reputation, but failed. Instead of spiritual subjects, church dignitaries were more interested in acquisition of land estates and realties. After long lawsuit, Catholic church won famous St. Vitus Cathedral. Imediatelly after that they started collect a fee for chapel visit.
That was local church, but what about foreign missionaries and evangelists?
They came. Especially in late nineties they roamed in Prague - Jehova witnesses, Church of Christ, World Changers, ESI, Christian Associates Int, all of them.
But they experienced some problems. Besides of mentioned history, Czech people are rather pragmatic, realistic, material and cool headed than emotional, spiritual or believing.
If you will exclaim: "Jesus will save you!", they tend to answer with inappropriate questions like "From what?" or "Do you have proof?".
Some missionaries don't understant, that there can exists someone, who allready know story about Jesus, last supper, Golgota and ressurection, but for all that he choose to not believe.
Some find out, that if they dance and jump and cry in public: "Jesus is great!", common no-emotional Czechs see him like he is little crazy.
And of course - language barriere is big problem.
Few actual quotes:
Young Czechs have a physical reaction of fear when you bring up the subject of religion or faith. Church is not a good or positive concept in their minds. Religion has been associated negatively with each oppressive party over the Czech Republic.
John Philpott, anglican vicar in Prague
When you say church in Prague it closes doors.
Jonathan and Daniela Augustine (www.ProjectAntioch.com)
· Logical, sort of an engineering mind set
Artie Sposaro - Grace Ministries Prague
I can post links to diaries of frustrated missionaries in Czech republic, if you want
Of course, there is complete religion freedom in Czech republic. Everyone can believe in whatever he wants. But maybe he doesn't want
Generaly in Europe, faith is considered as personal thing and majority don't talk about it in public very much. But if you want to loudly thank to God and prays publicly, the worst you can experienced may be surprised smile of passers-by.
What else? Oh, I promised to explain, what is somethingism -
When ordinary Czechs identify themselves as atheist, they usually don't mean it in the strict sense. When pressed, most Czechs acknowledge they believe in something bigger than themselves to make sense of their lives, not directly connected to any official religion.
Yes, I would love to read them. Thank you
Oh, very interesting post eso, thank you for the short history lesson.
thank you for the history and the insight I am just beginning to learn a little about Czech Republic and it's people this helps. I grow up in south east USA where religion is every thing and every where.
Most condensed material, but in PDF format,
so you need Adobe Reader to read it:
Thanks eso, I added the links to my favorites so I could read them over time.
Eso, I enjoyed your post, it is very interesting and packed with information. I have found your last statement to be true, about people who do not profess a faith, but neverytheless, have a sense of there being something more than the material, or who experience spirituality in music, art, nature and so on. Thanks for the time and effort in your looong post
Thanks, Eso, for your very interesting post. I have often wondered why Czechs and Poles are so different in this respect. Your post explained things very well.
I also like the term "somethingism". What is that in Czech?
I'm half Czech, and a somethingist myself.
Rarely it's mentioned as "něcismus", but I beleive it's only attempt to translate somethingsm from English.
Is quite possible, that there is no word for it in Czech language.
Maybe it seems strange to you, but do fish knows meaning of word water?
I dont want to bother you Eso, but you say you enjoy talking faith. After your explination I can kinda see why czech people have a problem with religion. :?
I do not consider myself part of any religion, I just call myself Chritstian, which can be confusing. I am not trying to persuade anybody but just share my experience and let people make their own decisions. No one likes to be persuaded, I know i dont. I just enjoy talking about faith, because it is part of my life everyday.
For me, Christian means having your own personal relationship with God and Jesus. I know who God is and I have a relationship with Jesus. It is like having something or knowing some good news, you want to share it , not keep it all to yourself.
I know many groups that call themselves Christian have been found corrupt, and I think there are many problems with the Catholic church.
Don't worry, you don't bother me (And i hope I don't bother you).
Everyone walks his own path.
I personaly have little problem with very concept of faith without proof. System od possibilities and probablities suits me better.
Fo example, I think, that there is very high probability, that this world and my life are real. Probability, that they are only creations of my own mind is low, but I can'n it definitely rule out.
I don't afraid of uncertainty. I accepted, that death will be very likely end of my existence (if no, all the better). I don't believe in absolute truth or universal meaning of life.
Jesus story is interesting, but bible itself is assembled from sections of unequal quality. Some things in bible labelled as sins I don't consider as sins at all.
There is a fundamental moral principle found in virtually all major religions and cultures - Treat others as you would like to be treated.
In Czech: "Nedělej druhým to, co nechceš, aby oni dělali tobě"
I think it's very wise philosophy.
Dear ESO- Thanks for the Czech history lesson. I was in CR in July of this year and even traveled to my grandmother Zadrazilova's home town of Kutna Hora, and was well received.
My Czech grandparents being both from Bohemia and Moravia were Roman Catholics but were never strong Catholics and always tempered every work of the Church with then abuses of the Catholic hierarchy in Yorkville section of NY. During the depression when money, food, and good housing was in short supply the Catholic priests as per grandma always were well fed and took off their collars for nights of drinking on the town. Nevertheless, my grandparents did not trust the public schools and send all of their children (3 sons ) to NY Catholic schools.
They believed in God but were not fond of oraganized religion. My Polish freinds are totally wrapped up in the Church but have a healthy skepticism
for the greed of the Catholic church to acquire land and wealth from the elderly. The Czech experience certainly has long standing roots in the old and new world too.
Czechs love fairy-tales... and thus they dont have any problems with Jesus. When I was a small child I always thought that religious matters are only "x-mas decoration" and hobby of the old people. And Ježíšek (i.e. little Jesus giving presents under the X-mas tree) was a pink hedgehog. :lol:
Yes, I forgot mention, that Czech's x-mass little Jesus frustrated some missionaries too
Separate names with a comma.