Irreligion in Romania

Irreligion in Romania is rare. Romania is one of the most religious countries in Europe,[3] with 92% of people saying that they believe in God.[4] Levels of Irreligion are much lower than in most other European countries and are among the lowest in the world. At the 2011 census, only 0.11% of the population declared itself atheist, up from the 2002 census, while 0.10% do not belong to any religion.[5]

Religion in Romania 2011 census[1]

  Protestantism (6.2%)
  Catholicism (5.1%)
  Other (1.5%)
  Not religious (0.2%)
  No data (6%)
Eurobarometer Poll 2010[2]
Believes in spirit or life force
Believes there is a god
Does not believe in spirit, God or life force


Over 20,700 people in Romania are atheists, according to 2011 census.[6] Thus, the number of Romanians who do not believe in God almost tripled in the previous decade.[7] The highest concentration is in Bucharest–Ilfov area (nearly 8,000 atheists) and generally wealthy areas of the country (Transylvania, Banat), the lowest – in Oltenia (750), Dobruja and poor areas of Wallachia (Teleorman, Călărași, Ialomița).[7] Before the census of October 2011, Secular Humanist Association (ASUR) conducted a campaign through which tried to promote an accurate census, in which people who consider themselves atheists to have confidence in selecting this option.[7] According to ASUR, European Values Survey (1999)[8] and World Values Survey (2005)[9] polls show that the real percentage of those who declare themselves atheists is at least 6–7% of the population, 60–70 times more than the result of census in 2002.[7] In The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (2006), Phil Zuckerman gives a figure of 4%.[10] A 2014 poll by WIN/Gallup International Association shows that 16% of Romanians are not religious and only 1% are convinced atheists.[11]

Development region Irreligious Atheists Total
București-Ilfov 3,295 8,517 11,812 (0.51%)
Centru 5,611 2,085 7,696 (0.32%)
Nord-Est 1,213 1,629 2,842 (0.08%)
Nord-Vest 4,622 3,098 7,720 (0.29%)
Sud-Est 607 1,321 1,928 (0.07%)
Sud-Muntenia 970 1,443 2,413 (0.07%)
Sud-Vest Oltenia 380 525 905 (0.04%)
Vest 2,219 2,125 4,344 (0.23%)
Total[12] 18,917 20,743 39,660


Survey/Study Year Atheists Agnostics Irreligious
The Cambridge Companion to Atheism 2006 4%
Dentsu Inc.[13] 2006 2,4%
WIN/Gallup International[14] 2014 1% 16%

Socio-demographic profileEdit

Remus Cernea, the only avowed atheist MEP

According to a study conducted by researchers from Open Society Foundations, Romanian atheists are a very young group and with a significantly higher level of education that the national average: 53% of atheists are under 30 years, and 33% of them have completed higher education.[15] The group of atheists/agnostics/persons without religion lives in a proportion of 59% in urban areas – in the capital and other major cities – and are easier to find in Wallachia and harder in Moldavia.[15]

Atheists are more intolerant than most Romanians with regard to almost all social groups on which were questioned: Roma, sectarians, Hungarians, Muslims, Jews and poor.[16] The only exception to this string of intolerance is represented by homosexuals, towards them atheists showing more tolerance than the national average.[16] As ideological positioning, atheists declare themselves, equally, both right-wing and left-wing, most of them (56%) placing at the center of the ideological line. Only eight percent say they prefer leftist economic policies, while right-wing economic policies attract 47% of atheists.[16]


  1. ^ "2011 census results by religion" (xls)., website of the Romanian Institute of Statistics. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  2. ^ Special Eurobarometer 341 / Wave 73.1 – TNS Opinion & Social (PDF). Brussels. October 2010. p. 204. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-15.
  3. ^ Tomka, Miklós (2011). Expanding Religion: Religious Revival in Post-communist Central and Eastern Europe. Walter de Gruyter. p. 75. ISBN 9783110228151.
  4. ^ Tarta, Mihai (15 June 2015). Sremac, Srdjan; Ganzevoort, R. Ruard (eds.). Religious and Sexual Nationalisms in Central and Eastern Europe: Gods, Gays and Governments. Leiden: Brill. p. 33. ISBN 978-90-04-29779-1.
  5. ^ "Ce ne spune recensământul din anul 2011 despre religie?" (PDF). Institutul Național de Statistică. October 2013.
  6. ^ "Ateismul în România. Care sunt județele cu cei mai mulți atei". Gândul. 9 October 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d "Numarul ATEILOR s-a triplat. Cati romani au renuntat la religie?". 9AM. 5 December 2012.
  8. ^ EVS (2011). "Survey 1999". European Values Study. doi:10.4232/1.10789.
  9. ^ "World Values Survey, 2005". The Association of Religion Data Archives.
  10. ^ Phil Zuckerman (30 October 2006). "Contemporary Numbers and Patterns". The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge University Press. p. 55. ISBN 9781139827393.
  11. ^ "Regional & Country Results". WIN/Gallup International.
  12. ^ "Religiile Romaniei. Orasul cu cel mai mare procent de atei din tara".
  13. ^ "Dentsu Inc" (in Japanese).
  14. ^ "Q9. Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worship or not, would you say you are?". Romania (PDF). WIN/GIA. 2014. p. 10.
  15. ^ a b "Ateii din Romania sunt tineri, educati si intoleranti". (in Romanian). 18 October 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-11-12. Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  16. ^ a b c Voicu, Ovidiu (18 October 2011). "Atei în România: puțini, tineri, educați, de dreapta și intoleranți" (PDF). Fundația Soros (in Romanian). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-05-10. Retrieved 2020-06-26.

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See alsoEdit