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What a super map

For the UK, the Ulster bit is the Presbyterian heartland of the Plantation. Liverpool is the Irish and Catholic immigration. The islands are the Wee Frees (??). France is the Vendee – the Catholic and Royalist anti-revolution so harshly put down by the Jacobins. Andalusia was Muslim until 1492, some hangover there. The N Spain bit is, umm, the Carlists of Navarre? V. Catholic. Romania is Transylvania, presumably the Hungarian speakers holding to religion as well as language. Rome is Vatican, well, D’Oh. S Germany is what, Catholic Bavaria? N Albania is the old Venetian Stato Del Mare (spelling?).

Greece is Salonika and no, I don’t know why there.

However, from those other examples at a guess I’d say there’s some different cultural/effnik grouping which clings to religion as one of the differentiators of that grouping. Because that’s much of what’s happening elsewhere. Dunno why the Tatras are more religious than most of Poland but the Czech bit is Moravia and they’ve long had that Catholic/Protestant thing going on.

Anyone got any better ideas?

The areas that are more religious are those which are effnikly different anyway, religion being a marker of that difference? Not as a proof, a 100%, but as a tendency?

30 thoughts on “What a super map”

  1. Romania’s bit is where all the monasteries are. Many of which celebrate the victories over the Turks. I doubt it’s the Hungarian group driving it but more poverty and proximity to religion.

    Otherwise as you say I assume it is ‘religion as a differentiator’ rather than ‘religion as a huge draw’

  2. Liverpool is the Irish and Catholic immigration.

    Err, that’s not Liverpool (if you look closely). It’s all those “suburbs” to the north of Manchester, and hence which looks suspiciously like the other lot!

  3. East Clogland is very Catholic and there atring pockets of Papism along the Rhine in Germany. Surprised that Baden Wurtemburg wasn’t included.

    In CZ, Moravia outside Brunn is very rural/conservative. I have to admit not being around on a Sunday to see their churchgoing tendencies.

    From memory. There was a lot of Reformation activity in the Hungarian colonies. Which I think is why Transylvania is mentioned. I think most of ethnic Romania is Orthodox, isn’t it ?

    What,’s happening in the Baltics ? Are they Russian minorities ?

  4. I get the impression that the map is only including indigenous inclinations. It’s clear that the most active religion in western Europe is Islam, and that the followers regionally congregate. There should be Vatican sized dots glowing enrichment red all over.

  5. It would be interesting to compare this map with one showing national poverty hot spots. Some significant overlap I suspect.

  6. Bloke in North Dorset


    East Clogland is very Catholic and there atring pockets of Papism along the Rhine in Germany. Surprised that Baden Wurtemburg wasn’t included.

    People opting out of the Kirchensteuer?

    Germany’s Catholic Church lost 216,078 members and Protestant churches lost some 220,000 in 2018, according to data published on Friday by the German Bishops’ Conference and the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD).

    I read somewhere else, but can’t find it, that the trend is accelerating.

  7. Do you think there’s any significance in them having stuck what appears to be Iceland in the Bay of Biscay? Oxford geographers?

  8. The northern Outer Isles are Protestant, the southern Roman Catholic. Lots of the Ps are Wee Free. The RCs’ ancestors had tumbled down to paganism as the old RC church decayed before the Reformation, or had become loosely attached to protestantism. They were then converted by Jansenist priests sailing from Ireland.

    So, in religious terms, both Protestants and Papists there are black-hearted buggers.

    Personally they are often decent, charming people. I’d be perfectly happy to live among we’re it not for the climate, a sort of mild sub-Arctic. The lie of the land is close to a peaty version of tundra.

  9. I think I agree with the comment about Northern England…doesn’t look like Liverpool. I would guess it’s Rochdale, Darwen, Burnley, Blackburn…maybe Bolton & Bury too.

    Large active Muslim communities in all.

  10. BiND
    That’s very interesting, thanks. Mind you not surprised. I knew even quite devout Papists who put “none” down but still went to churh.
    My late missus in Aystria was officially a Swiss Reformed for tax purposes ( her father was a Calvinist), but CofE in reality.
    I was untaxed in Germany, because they (then) didn’t have an option for CofE, so I out “keine” down for Religion.

  11. PF and Geoffers: The area idendified is not Liverpool or North (of) Manchester. It’s the Fylde an area of raving Tories.

  12. Errrmmm, Otto… East Clogland catholic? South, yes, nominally. East? Try and go tell them that…

    The blotch shown on the map is Strictly Calvinist ( in various, and many(!) Feuding Flavours ) of the Predestination and Doom+Hellfire variety, mostly in the small towns/villages.
    The worst of the hellholes have become tourist attractions ( except on Sundays, of course..) and are more generally known nowadays for the excesses of their Youf elsewhere, drug abuse, and incest.
    Again… except on Sundays, when the whole damn lot pretends to never have left the 19th century and walks to Church in Traditional Kit pretending the rest of the week didn’t happen.

    As to why it’s there? Most of the Belt is the remains of the old Diocese of Utrecht, along with the old Catholic/Protestant frontline in the South. It’s where the religious nutters went, and they never left.
    The area used to stretch into the east into Germany, but what are now basically the Amish ( plus some others who may/may not have withstood the touch of Time and Sanity ) decided to pack up and move to the Americas.

  13. “area used to stretch into the east into Germany”

    Yes, but consider what is actually being measured. Areas which are more religious “than others within the same country boundary”. So if Catholic Bavarians are more religious than Amish Plattlanders then it would be the Bavarians that show up (ish, sorta, because as UK shows it’s possible to have two areas etc., but) while Amish Dutch are much more religious than other Dutch. Even as Amish Platt and Amish Dutch are the same. It’s relative to others in same country, not across entire Europe…..

  14. For the British Isles it looks as if they decided to give Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, and the Republic one area each. Why not Wales? Bloody discrimination, look you, boy.

  15. Poland is extremely religious in general (albeit they worship Karol Wojtyła rather than God), so I’m surprised there’s an area in the south that’s considerably more religious than the rest. Similar thoughts occur about Romania.

  16. “Liverpool is the Irish and Catholic immigration”

    As others have said, that ain’t Liverpool.

    But nor is it the Manchester suburbs. That’s Lancashire heartlands – looks like Preston, Whalley and up through the Forest of Bowland.

    Traditionally a big Catholic area – not Irish but indigenous recusants. Catholic gentry and their tenants. Whalley’s abbot refused to surrender and was executed; the Bowbearer of Bowland was executed as one of the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace. There’s families up there who have always been Catholic, and don’t have anything to do with the Irish Liverpudlians.

    Stonyhurst is up there; Preston has a big Lefebvrist (traddie breakaway Catholic) church; the old religion is still big up there.

  17. My father came from south of L’viv, just the other side of the border with that area marked in SE Poland. He grew up under Polish rule, then fled in the face of Russian rule followed by Nazi rule. I think the explanation for religious feeling in that whole area might be explained by something I said at his funeral, after a very brief description of the life he’d had to flee as a teenager:

    “I’ve been asked, ‘Was your father a religious man?’ And the answer is ‘Yes, he was.’ The hard-headed, practical engineer was a Ukrainian Catholic, and that was important to him, because while generals and politicians come and go, the Church is always there. And, as he always said, looking back on his years of fighting on the Eastern Front: ‘Take away religion, and men are just animals.'”

    So, that might be part of the reason why faith is still so prevalent in that part of the world. There is a terrible memory of the alternative, and what happens without it.

  18. Good question. One I wish I could answer confidently, but his English was very poor. English is a language which has developed through waves of immigrants and traders finding a way to communicate which is usable even when your knowledge of the language is minimal. He took full advantage of that!

    The best I can say is that he would always describe the village he grew up in, near Drohobych, as being ‘in Galicia’, rather than ‘near L’viv’, or ‘in Western Ukraine’. He was born in 1919, and his parents had been very much subjects of the state of Galicia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They deeply resented being subsumed into that weird new country of Poland in 1918. My father certainly shared that resentment.

    But having said that, he was very much a Ukrainian nationalist, and an anti-Communist one too, on account of what Russia was doing to the rest of Ukraine as he grew up. Which to some extent chimes with Mr Worstall’s idea, that religious zealotry is tied in with nationalism. As I said at his funeral – the fact that he was a Ukrainian Catholic [a whole separate church] was important to him. And that means the ‘Ukrainian’ bit as much as the ‘Catholic’ bit.

  19. Back in the 90s, after the Warsaw Pact but before the floods of Eastern Europeans, I gave a lift up the A1 to a hitchhiking young Polish couple. They were quite an interesting mix of well educated (both had good English) urban plus Catholic. It was interesting how close the link between church and nationalism was, including practically. Through the church youth organisations they’d learned how to fight and make petrol bombs, etc. They’d grown up expecting to have to fight off the Russians and their quisling commies. It was interesting picking up on that anti-occupation resentment directly rather than reading about it.

    But there was nothing starched shirt about them; otherwise apparently completely regular scruffy liberal kids. They were delighted I knew who Sobieski was and how historically important (I knew via astronomy), and also upon learning the involvement of Polish squadrons in the Battle of Britain.

    Wish I’d kept in touch.

  20. PJF, my brother in law is Polish. Escaped to Canada back in the early eighties. We watched this movie last timne I saw him:
    I knew of Polish fighter pilots (The Battle of Britain is mandatory watching at least once a year), but surprised they were the most successful fighter squadron during the Battle, despite missing the first two months of the conflict…….. Their treatment at the end of the war (not allowed to join the victory parade) left a very bitter taste (although AFAIUI Bomber Command weren’t either?).

  21. That part of southern Poland includes the birthplace of JPII and the final resting place of Sister Faustina. The church is very apparent around these parts, but I’m surprised it’s more than in the rest of the country.

  22. If we’re talking about the Poles, didn’t the Brits get the initial breakthrough for the Enigma code from them?

    Interesting contrast to the Russkies. Terrified that the wicked capitalists’d make dire use of the info, they wouldn’t give Churchill the necessary data to allow him to provide really useful stuff via the Arctic convoys during the initial attack. If he’d sent the tanks and aircraft to Malaya and Burma, the forces there could have made a better fight against the Japs. Though I think they’d have lost anyway.

    What Churchill really needed to send to Russia, of course, was plenty of spam and snoek. After all, the one thing everyone knew for sure was that Stalin’d made a mess of Russia’s food supply. So at least it’d have meant the inhabitants of the gulag might have got something to eat.

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