Belgium Church History

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Religious History

The Catholic Church prevailed in Belgium for over 500 years prior to the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s. The French speaking areas remained predominantly Catholic, while the Flemish areas converted to Protestantism. The strong Catholic orientation of the Habsburgs succeeded in returning the Flemish provinces to the Catholic fold after a century of Protestant activity. The Thirty-Years’ War (1618-1648) and other conflicts caused extensive damage to records in many areas. Several early Protestant records date from 1534, and early Catholic records from 1560.

In 1900, 99% of the population of Belgium was Catholic, 0.2% was Protestant and a few Jews and others. Today the religious affiliation in Belgium is 89% Roman Catholic, 1% Protestant and 11% other or of no religion. There are a very few Mennonites, Walloon Protestants, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.[1]

References

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Austria,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-1999.