Religion

Contemporary Lithuania is a predominantly Catholic country with almost 80 per cent of the population pledging allegiance to the Pope. Pagan Lithuanians avoided Christianity until relatively late in European history, finally converting for political reasons in 1387 in the eastern half of the country and in 1413 in the west. The country’s pagan heritage can still be seen in many aspects of life including the days of the week (literally First Day, Second Day etc.), the continued naming of its female population after flowers and plants and the countless festivals throughout the year that remain very much as they were before the coming of Christianity. The area that makes up contemporary Lithuania has historically been the proud home of countless religions over the centuries, among them Russian Orthodox, Protestantism, Islam and of course Judaism, of which the former makes up the second largest population at just under five per cent. It’s considered polite for men to remove their hats and women to cover their shoulders when visiting a Catholic church. 

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