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Religion and Welfare in EuropeGendered and Minority Perspectives$
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Lina Molokotos-Liederman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447318972

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447318972.001.0001

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Religion, welfare and gender: the post-communist experience

Religion, welfare and gender: the post-communist experience

(p.135) Seven Religion, welfare and gender: the post-communist experience
Religion and Welfare in Europe

Siniša Zrinščak

Policy Press

This chapter looks at the complex situation in post-communist Europe, where the transition from a command economy to a neoliberal system has created new forms of exclusion, with rudimentary or conservative welfare regimes that have great difficulty in providing social coverage for every citizen. Post-communist countries have different degrees of familism and different degrees of civil society activism. Both Croatia and Poland—with their dominant Catholic churches and welfare charities—are somewhat similar to Italy, while Romania—with its dominant Orthodox Church—shares some similarities with Greece, but with a weaker social and religious organisation. In Latvia, there are Lutheran, Catholic and Orthodox churches that are related to different ethnic and language groups. In all post-communist cases, religious minorities are more or less welcomed, but their welfare activities are mostly directed towards their own members. This is exemplified by the neo-Protestant minorities in Poland and Romania that have developed extensive social assistance networks.

Keywords:   post-communist Europe, neoliberal system, welfare regimes, post-communist countries, familism, civil society activism, Catholic churches, Orthodox Church, Lutheran, religious minorities

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