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Church, State, and Democracy in Expanding Europe$
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Lavinia Stan and Lucian Turcescu

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195337105

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195337105.001.0001

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(p.150) 10 Slovakia
Church, State, and Democracy in Expanding Europe

Lavinia Stan

Lucian Turcescu

Oxford University Press

Religion plays an important role in post-communist Slovakia, and the dominant Roman Catholic Church behaves and is treated as the de facto national church. While formally the government cannot interfere in the affairs of religious groups, in practice it does so, by upholding prohibitive registration requirements, granting a range of benefits granted to recognized denominations, and raising manifold obstacles against unrecognized religious groups. As in predominantly Catholic Poland and Lithuania or Orthodox Romania, in Slovakia the majority Catholic Church enjoys an important political influence, a considerable presence in public schools, privileged governmental funding, and a repertoire of rights larger than that recognized to other denominations. Its traditional views on homosexuality and abortion have informed national legislation and public positions on these topics.

Keywords:   Slovakia, Roman Catholic Church, national church, political influence, religious groups

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