In light of recent claims about increasing religious polarization in secularized countries, we study the extent to which the non-religious contest religion in Western European countries and whether and how the Protestant and Catholic heritage of these countries plays a role in this. Analyzing data from the International Social Survey Program (ISSP 1998 and 2008) data by means of multilevel analysis, we demonstrate that religious polarization is stronger in the most secularized countries and in countries with a Catholic religious heritage. Moreover, in secular countries, polarization stems from religious fervency, whereas in countries with a Catholic heritage, it stems from anti-religious fervency.
- Western Europe
- religious heritage