Gender and Religion

A large proportion of the Hungarian population has been baptized into the Roman Catholic church (almost 7 million members in 1998), the Hungarian Reformed church (just over 2 million members in 1998), or some other Christian denomination (Tomka & Revay, 1998). Yet, aside from some elderly women, many of these people have not had much continued relationship with a church community. During the socialist era, the Party State apparatus actively discouraged religious affiliation and most monasteries and church-run schools were closed. Since 1990, most of these institutions have reopened and religious participation has increased somewhat, particularly at such ritual times as Christmas, Easter, and weddings. In 1997, there were 998 monks and 2311 nuns serving in 91 monasteries and convents in Hungary (Tomka & Revay, 1998).

Churches in general in Hungary tend to favor traditional gender and family roles; however, in 1999 Catholic bishops in Hungary issued a statement calling for happier families. One of their suggestions was for Hungarians to recognize the double-income family as appropriate for the 21st century. They also stated that women have a rightful need to study and work (Hungarian College of Catholic Bishops, 1999).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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