Today, it is quite an obvious fact that
the European societies are not only occupied by natives. In their search for
identity, equality and cohesion in an increasingly globalized world, religious
diversity may be one of the toughest challenges that today’s European societies
face. Religious beliefs and affiliation to religious groups and
communities were historically the cornerstones of the functioning of societal
relations in Europe, but due to a lot of immigrants in the European nations,
there have been an acknowledgment of the rich tradition of the co-existence of
diverse religions. The 2010 Eurobarometer surveys articulate that these
religions are such as Christians, Muslims, Unaffiliated, Hindus, Folk and Jews.
Christianity in Europe has been there since time immemorial and despite
religious diversity in European societies, today it still hold 72% of all other
regions and Islam being the least with 2%. The question then is, how has the
diversity of these religions affected the European societies?
According to most writers, religion in
Europe was responsible for the functioning of politics, art, culture and law.
Christianity is said to be responsible for most of the ancient and even today’s
civilization in Europe. Ozzano & Giorgi (2016) articulate that, In a
country such as France for instance, where the historic effect of secularization
was particularly far-reaching and where the objective and subjective loss of
religion may be specifically illustrated, the phenomenon of the Catholic
encoding of culture, institutions and mentalities continues to be
extraordinarily significant. The other religions such as Islam in France see
this with a different eye, an example, their way of dressing has mostly been
unacceptable as official until after different campaigns that they were allowed
for women to put on veils even in public identities. This then resulted to the
changing of the official dressing code assumptions and further the law to some
other European societies.
Well, one feature of the
phenomena of religious pluralization is that they contribute both to the
erosion and, paradoxically, to the partial reconstitution of the various cultural
civilizations which exist in Europe. For instance, the content of the styles of political life and public
debate on ethical issues and social issues have been taking a different face in
European societies. This is because in one way or another, they are trying to
avoid biasness or favoring on some religious groups in comparison to the others,
i.e,the systems are trying to favor every religious group. Basically, this will
change the originality of the native societal norms, traditions, socialization,
policies, politics and even religion itself of which can be a challenge to
these European societies.
As a matter of fact, changes in culture
of a certain society need time since it is practically a gradual process.
People cannot easily adopt to drastic changes of their way of living for any
reasons if they do not have enough time to do so and this is another challenge
since time is not a guarantee for these societies.
The fact is that religious pluralism has
the same degree of cultural encoding in most European societies from
Scandinavia to the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy or
Ireland, though it takes completely different forms. Religious diversity have
taken shape in on the styles of the
content of public debate on social and ethical issues, political life,the definition of State, the concept of
citizenship, individual responsibility and attitudes toward nature and the
environment, but also the practical rules of civil conduct and attitudes
towards patterns of consumption them.