Prague Minos Guide

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Modern Era

Government secularization
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Religious wars as well as a specific religious climate made it difficult for the Czechs to follow a particular religion.
The Czechs have always been a nation with a religious understanding that is connected to the understanding of their own national history. Experiences from the Hussite Wars and from the later Recatholization after the White Mountain defeat caused the people to connect religion to the restriction of freedom, oppression and the occupation of the Czech lands. This traumatic aspects were also expressed in the days of the National Revival during the 19th century.
After the establishment of the First Czechoslovak Republic, More people left the Catholic Church to join other religious groups. President Masaryk played a great role in this as well, he was originally Catholic, later Evangelist and then strictly anti-clerical. The church then refused to deal with the critical

situation of the working masses, which later became radicalized and secularized. This was perfect ground for the post-war accession of the Czechoslovak Communist Party to power.
After 1948, the Communists permanently prohibited religion. During the sixties, being religious was somehow possible again, but that was immediately crushed in 1968 by the "Normalization" that followed. Religious activity was only underground in those days and the Velvet Revolution in 1989 brought strong hopes for the Church. However, the nineties meant sobering-up and a comeback to reality, because even the Catholic Church was not able to fill the "vacuum" created by the collapse of Communism. On the other hand, this vacuum became the foundation for many new and alternative movements, eastern religions, and sects. Religion still plays a role in the country even though it is a secular state.


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