ReligionThe people of Belgium predominant identify with Catholicism; however, actual church attendance was less than 5% in 2009 and there is no reason to suspect that it has increased. Belgium is predominately Roman Catholic (60 %) with over 30% non-believers. The rest profess to be Muslim (4%), Protestant (2%), Jewish, (1%) and another 2 percent as belonging to other religious groups. Belgium has a separation between the Church and State, and freedom of religion. Consequently, the State cannot force someone to adhere to a certain religion nor can it ask someone to which he or she adheres. Religious groups can practice freely in Belgium.
Roman Catholicism gained its predominance during the Spanish Inquisition and continued to play an important role in Belgian politics through to the late 20th Century.
In 2002, the then officially recognized Protestant denomination, the United Protestant Church of Belgium, formed the Administrative Council of the Protestant and Evangelical Religion (ARPEE in Dutch, CACPE in French), which is now the accepted mouthpiece of Protestantism in all three linguistic communities. Based on a 2001 survey conducted by evangelical sources, charismatic and evangelical associations claim a membership of 4% of the Belgian population while independent sources report 2% membership.
With NATO and EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium has international flavor so the best time to visit is during one of the many festivals. Be warned the hotel rates are up during those times as well.