Belgians not optimistic of relations between religions

Belgians are not optimistic about the relationship between Muslims and Christians. 61% think tensions will only go up, according to a survey by research group Ipsos of 783 Belgians.

Barely 7% of those surveyed think that the tensions will decline, 61% are frankly pessimistic and think that tensions will rise. Especially Flemish and men fear that tensions will escalate.

It's striking that the older one is, the more people think that tensions will subside. Those with higher education are again pessimistic and see a "clash of civilizations" coming closer. Muslims are more optimistic than Catholics.

Most of those surveyed think that criticism of religion is allowed (59%), on condition that the convictions of the believers are respected. In contrast, 23% are of the opinion that criticism of religion is simply not allowed. Practicing believers especially are reserved of criticism of religion. Barely 16% think that any form of criticism is allowed, without taking account of the believers.

Veils in the street do not extremely bother the Belgians. A majority of Belgians (58%) say that religious symbols should be allowed in public. Also here it is especially the practicing believers who support religious symbols in public.

The majority of those surveyed (71%) think of themselves as Catholic, but barely 27% of them are (relatively) practicing. Those who follow another religious are much more practicing (44%).

Other results of this survey can be found on Expatica (English).

Source: HLN (Dutch)

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