Prague, Czech Republic – Most Czechs believe in alien life, a new study has found, while only a small minority of the population declares believing in God.
According to a STEM/MARK survey commissioned by the local Christian NGO Maranatha, only about a fifth of people living in the Czech Republic believe in God. A somewhat similar share of Czechs (23% of respondents) say they do not believe at all.
In contrast, almost 60% of respondents said they believed in the existence of alien life.
Few Czechs believe in God, but open to other beliefs
More than a third of respondents (35%) declared believing in some sort of higher being or sacred entity.
Women over the age of 60 and people living in Moravia were more likely to declare their faith in God, according to the study, which also found that more than half (57%) of those who believe in God were already believers before they became adult.
“I was happy about the results, but I had hoped that interest in God would be even higher, because one does get that impression when talking to people,” said Juraj Turoci, head of Maranatha. “When it comes to the pure spiritual question of faith in God, I have had the impression that people are not decidedly against it.”
The Czech Republic has long stood out as one of the European countries with the lowest share of believers or of people affiliated with a church. The most recent study found that only 2% of respondents go to church every week, and 7% regularly attend Christmas mass.
Meanwhile, more than half of respondents said they believed religious faith divides people more than it unites them.
Covid pandemic sparks existential questions for some
The poll also found that 7% of Czechs believe the world was created by God and is less than 10,000 years old, while over 60% of them adhere to the theory of evolution.
With an important share of people declaring believing or being interested in other forms of spiritual beliefs, merely describing the Czech Republic as an “atheist country” – as can sometimes be the case – would be misleading.
As the STEM/MARK survey showed, the Covid-19 pandemic led approximately a fifth of respondents to ponder more seriously over the meaning of life and the possibility of an afterlife, although changes in beliefs remained rare.
Only 2% of respondents became believers as a result of the coronavirus crisis, while 3% of them on the contrary said they lost their faith during that time.
Around 40% of Czechs did not deny the possibility of some sort of existence after death. Finally, respondents were more likely to declare they had basic knowledge of Christianity (73%), Islam (71%) and Buddhism (60%) than Judaism and Hinduism.