A survey of Eastern European attitudes by the Pew Research Center has found troubled if mixed attitudes towards Jews. On Wednesday, the center released a new report entitled “Religious Belief and National Belonging in Central and Eastern Europe.” It recorded a resurgence in religious sentiment in a region previously dominated by the Soviet Union and its enforced atheism. But the report also found that religious minorities continue to struggle for acceptance in nearly all of the 18 countries surveyed.
Less than half of respondents said they would accept Jews as members of their family, while around a fifth said they did not want them as neighbors. About 10 percent said they would not accept Jews as fellow citizens, but the vast majority said they would. Some countries proved particularly inhospitable in this respect, like Lithuania, where 23 percent refused to accept Jews as citizens. (These attitudes may have contributed toward the local government’s current effort to bulldoze Jewish heritage in its capital of Vilnius.) Other countries fared far better, like Ukraine, where just 5 percent rejected Jews as citizens.
Muslims and Roma fared poorly as well in the survey. Around two thirds of those polled said they would accept Muslims as citizens, and less than one third would accept them as family members. Likewise, 57 percent of respondents said they’d accept Roma as citizens, and just 19 percent would accept them as family.