Most of the Romanians consider they are superior to other nations and would not accept a Muslim or a Jew be part of their family. Romanian think that being a Christian is an important element of the national identity, according to a study conducted by Pew Research Center during 2015-2017 on 56, 000 respondents in 34 countries in Western, Central and Eastern Europe.
The research shows that Eastern and Western Europeans differ on importance of religion, views of minorities, and key social issues. People in Central and Eastern Europe are less accepting of Muslims and Jews, same-sex marriage, and legal abortion.
„The Iron Curtain that once divided Europe may be long gone, but the continent today is split by stark differences in public attitudes toward religion, minorities and social issues such as gay marriage and legal abortion. Compared with Western Europeans, fewer Central and Eastern Europeans would welcome Muslims or Jews into their families or neighborhoods, extend the right of marriage to gay or lesbian couples or broaden the definition of national identity to include people born outside their country,” reads the survey.
Therefore, the study reveals that 65% of the Romanian think they are superior to other nations, which ranks our country third in the top based on the answers to the statement: „Our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior to others”. The ranking is topped by Greece (89%) and Bulgaria (69%).
As for the tolerance, 29% of the Romanians would not accept a Muslim as members of their family and 39% would not accept a Jew. At the same time, 74% of the Romanians fully oppose the same-sex marriage, with Bulgarians even more (79%).
Also 74% of the Romanians think religion is a key component of their national identity. The Pew Research study says that 98% of the adults in Romania consider themselves as Christians. Moreover, 46% of the Romanians consider that Government should promote the religious values and beliefs.
On the opposite side, in Western Europe most of the people don’t have the feeling that religion is a major element of their national identity.
In France and the United Kingdom, for example, most say it is not important to be Christian to be truly French or truly British.
To be sure, not every country in Europe neatly falls into this pattern. For example, in the Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia, the vast majority of people say being Christian (specifically Lutheran) is not important to their national identity. Still, relatively few express willingness to accept Muslims as family members or neighbors.
But a general East-West pattern is also apparent on at least one other measure of nationalism: cultural chauvinism. The surveys asked respondents across the continent whether they agree with the statement, “Our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior to others.” While there are exceptions, Central and Eastern Europeans overall are more inclined to say their culture is superior. The eight countries where this attitude is most prevalent are all geographically in the East: Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Bulgaria, Russia, Bosnia, Romania and Serbia.
People in Central and Eastern Europe also are more likely than Western Europeans to say being born in their country and having family background there are important to truly share the national identity
Taken together, these and other questions about national identity, religious minorities and cultural superiority would seem to indicate a European divide, with high levels of religious nationalism in the East and more openness toward multiculturalism in the West. Other questions asked on the survey point to a further East-West “values gap” with respect to key social issues, such as same-sex marriage and legal abortion.