Slovenia Religion

Slovenia – Religion

A majority of Slovenes are Roman Catholics. In addition, there are smaller groups of mainly Muslims and Orthodox Christians. Freedom of religion is constitutional and respected.

In a 2002 census, 58 percent identified themselves as Catholics, while more than one in three residents did not declare any religion or call themselves non-religious.

During the communist era (1945–1991), religion was opposed, but religious communities could still work. When Slovenia became independent in 1991, the Catholic Church gained a stronger position in public life. Gradually, the church has been given a stronger role in education and the welfare sector, and as an economic player. The church has been active in the context of privatization and ended up in a crisis of confidence when a financial empire under the Archbishop’s seat in Maribor collapsed in 2010. Two of the church’s finance companies turned out to account for almost a third of the bad loans that were later discovered (see Modern History).

The interests of the state and the church have often clashed, for example, with regard to the return of state property that belonged to the Catholic Church before communism and to the issue of religious education in the school. The ties between the church and some, mainly conservative, political parties have become closer. However, many, not least young Slovenes, believe that the church should be outside politics.

Slovenia Population Pyramid 2020

Muslims and Orthodox Christians make up a few percent each of the population and consist mainly of Bosniaks and Serbs respectively. There are also smaller groups of Protestants, among others.

  • Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Slovenia, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.



No to same-sex marriage

December 20

In a referendum, the Slovenes voted down a decision in the National Assembly to legalize marriage between people of the same sex. Parliament adopted such a proposal in March and subsequently voted down a proposal to hold a referendum on the issue. But in a ruling in October, the Constitutional Court ruled the opponents right. Among them were the Catholic Church and the two Conservative parties SDS and NSI. The turnout is low – 36 percent – but the no-votes (64 percent of the voters) are enough to reject the change in the law. The government can now submit a new proposal for a legislative change in the matter at the earliest in a year.


Loans from the EIB

Slovenia receives a loan of EUR 500 million on 26 November from the European Investment Bank, the EIB. The money will go to projects in the transport, energy, environmental and health care sectors. Some will also be used to cope with the ongoing refugee crisis.

Fence along the border

November 11

Slovenia begins to erect barbed wire barriers along the border with Croatia. The purpose is, while keeping the border crossings open, to better control the refugee flows. Together with Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia, it is also decided to only accept asylum seekers from war zones: Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

EU support for the refugee situation

Slovenia is promised over € 10 million in emergency aid by the European Commission to cope with the plight of the many refugees in the country.


Slovenia appeals for help with the refugee stream

October 23

Since Hungary closed its border to refugees from Slovenia, the pressure is increasing with thousands of people. EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos comes to Slovenia to discuss the refugee issue since the country asked for help with staff and money to cope with the storm. More than 50,000 refugees have come to Slovenia and the country has difficulty in registering everyone. The refugee wave does not seem to wane either.


Border checks are established

Since Hungary closed its border to refugees coming via Serbia, it is clear that the refugee stream is instead trying to take the road via Croatia and Slovenia, on their way north. Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar declares that the country will temporarily re-establish checks at its borders and register those who are coming. Those who do not have asylum will be refused entry and returned from where they came.


The Minister of Defense resigns

April 9

Janko Veber resigns after a vote in the National Assembly, accused of exceeding his powers when he used military intelligence to investigate the planned privatization of telecommunications company Telekom Slovenije. Veber is the fifth minister to step down since the government took office six months ago. Andreja Katic will be appointed new Minister of Defense in May.

The Minister of Education resigns

April 1st

Minister of Education and Sport Klavdija Markež resigns after only five days, after media reports that her master’s thesis was a plagiarism. Representative Stanka Setnikar Cankar had to leave after it was discovered that for a decade she had received over € 600,000 in public funds in addition to her state salary.

The judgment against Janez Janša is annulled

The Constitutional Court cancels judgment against former Prime Minister Janša, who was found to have been unfair, and his two co-accused, and orders a new trial. Janša, who began serving her two-year prison sentence in June 2014, was released in December, pending the Constitutional Court’s decision. In September, the target is declared to have been set.


Cerar’s party changes its name

March 7

At its congress, the ruling party Miro Cerar’s party, SMC, decides to change its name to the Moderna centerpart (Stranka modernega centers), also the abbreviated SMC. Already when the party was formed it was decided that the party would eventually get a “common” name.

Slovenia Religion