Freedom of religion in Europe by country

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The status of religious freedom in Europe varies from country to country. States can differ based on whether or not they guarantee equal treatment under law for followers of different religions, whether they establish a state religion (and the legal implications that this has for both practitioners and non-practitioners), the extent to which religious organizations operating within the country are policed, and the extent to which religious law is used as a basis for the country's legal code.

There are further discrepancies between some countries' self-proclaimed stances of religious freedom in law and the actual practice of authority bodies within those countries: a country's establishment of religious equality in their constitution or laws does not necessarily translate into freedom of practice for residents of the country. Additionally, similar practices (such as having religious organizations register with the government) can have different consequences depending on other sociopolitical circumstances specific to the countries in question.

Virtually every country in Europe legally establishes the freedom of religion for people living in the country, and most also have anti-discrimination laws that specifically highlight religious freedom. However, enforcement of these laws is not always consistent, and several countries routinely fail to implement these laws at a local level. A few countries in Europe continue to have state religions.[1][2] Most countries in the former Eastern bloc have government programs for the restitution of religious property confiscated by previous socialist governments.[3][4][5] Many countries in Europe also provide government funding or other privileges for registered religious groups.[6][1][7] Several countries have animal slaughter laws that effectively ban butchers from making kosher and halal meat, and a smaller proportion ban non-medical circumcision, generally on the grounds of animal rights and human rights respectively. In most cases, religious individuals that need to observe these practices are able to import meat and go to other countries to have circumcisions performed without interference from their government.[8][9][10]

Religious tolerance in general society varies across Europe. While some countries have a high degree of religious tolerance,[7] others have significant levels of Anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish sentiments in the general populace,[11][6] as well as discrimination against Jehovah's Witnesses, at times resulting in religiously-motivated physical violence or vandalism. In a few cases, such attitudes are reflected by government officials as well.[12] In a few countries, particularly in former Yugoslavian states, but also Ukraine, there are hostilities between Christian denominations connected to disputes between Orthodox churches over religious jurisdictions and the control of holy sites.[13][14]