Belgium

Population

About country profiles

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

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10359127
Surface area:30510 km2
Capital:Brussels
GNI per capita:25760 US$
Classification:Developed economy
Languages:

French

Dutch

German

Religions:

Christian: 88.00%

Muslim: 4.00%

Other: 1.00%

Buddhist, Jewish and other 1%
Christianity:

Catholics: 8747706

Protestants: 143990

Orthodox: 48200

Independent: 69710

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Belgium has been a constitutional monarchy since 1830. It has a largely federalized government system in order to accommodate the language areas (Dutch- speaking Flanders, French-speaking Wallonia, Brussels where both languages are used, and a small German-speaking area). Belgium has a modern industrialized and commercial economy. It is one of the six founding members of the European Union, and the offices of the EU Commission and Council are located in Brussels. Several European churches and ecumenical organizations have established offices in Brussels, to liaise with the EU. The Catholic Church is the majority church in Belgium. Historically, the Reformation had a strong impact in the area, but the independence struggle of the Netherlands and the Counter-Reformation led to the re-establishment of the Catholic Church. The relationships of the small Protestant churches and groups with the Catholic Church have been difficult for a long time, but have been normalized in the recent past. The WCC member church is the United Protestant Church of Belgium. Evangelicals and Pentecostals make up about 50 percent of the Protestants, and together with the Charismatics 3 percent of the Christian population (2000). There is a small but growing Orthodox presence. A consultative body groups the Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox and United Protestant churches. There are two Evangelical Alliances, one Dutch, and one French speaking, which are affiliated with the WEA.

 

Ecumenical Organizations and Councils

Last updated: 01/01/06