The modern paradox about the religious situation in Europe is that it is difficult to disagree with the view that European history is closely connected with religion and the church, ie with Christianity, tradition and holidays, among which Christmas is certainly one of the most important, says the sociologist for “Vesti”. religion Dr. Mirko Blagojevic. Historically, he points out, on the Old Continent, states have not always had the same attitude towards the Christian religion. Although it is witnessed that Europe is non-church, says our interlocutor, still in the collective consciousness of people there are still traces of the Christian past, so this recommendation of the European Commission seems to target the last tradition and history of Europe.
– If the ritual dimension of Christianity is well chilled out of the collective reminder, it still remains to slowly begin to chill out of the identity and dimension of religious consciousness – which is a long but sure way of disappearing Christianity – our interlocutor is convinced.
Dr. Blagojevic believes that Europe is facing a serious question of its identity.
– The process of privatization of religion in Europe, as a reverse of the global process of secularization, crumbles traditional, collectivist values and deconstructs them. The new social situation related to the influx of migrants from the Middle East in recent years is also affecting changes in the confessional composition of certain countries.
According to our interlocutor, there are cultural and political challenges that did not exist until recently. By promoting multiculturalism, not without the resistance of certain groups of the population and countries, Europe brings to an end the consequences of secularization not only in the ritual but also in the identity dimension.
– An unexpected paradox appears again: by promoting multiculturalism and making concessions in favor of its success, public policies make a rigid attempt to erase or diminish the importance of the Christian tradition of the majority in European societies.
Regarding whether the eventual omission of the “Christmas” determinant favors migrants, our interlocutor believes that the situation is not very simple.
– It can be a political response to the migrant crisis for which Europe, historically, is not innocent at all. However, the crisis is not just political. Globalization and the growth of migration in the world and Europe, as well as the settlement of migrants in the areas of growing economies where they have not been before, have resulted in the emergence of diaspora municipalities that are mostly based on religious and ethnic grounds. This situation gives rise to tensions and conflicts that did not exist before – this sociologist points out.
He explains that Muslim enclaves in Europe represent a different, external cultural-religious great tradition that is perceived as foreign. Hence the serious problem in finding ways for the possibility of peaceful coexistence of different regional traditions, but also a great challenge for the state that should regulate the mutual relations of these traditions, which exposes that state to abandon the traditional liberal approach of separation from religion.
– The suppression of religious holidays caused a boomerang effect in the late 80’s and early 90’s of the last century with the collapse of socialism as a political system and worldview and in the conflicting events of the disintegration of socialist Yugoslavia. After the mentioned conflicts, the religious situation stabilized (in Serbia) and today these religious holidays have an affirmative character and public significance – Dr. Blagojević points out.
Two worlds different
Blagojevic quotes the words of the British sociologist Grace Davy, who coined the famous phrase “beliefs without belonging”, primarily having in mind the situation in Great Britain. In the Protestant countries of Europe, the process of secularization is most pronounced in relation to other confessional areas of Europe, but the same cannot be said for the Protestant United States with a very numerous and active churches and a high degree of religious belief. The thesis about the modernization and consequent secularization of society does not seem to be valid here.
Source: Vesti online by www.vesti-online.com.
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