Religion, Trust in Institutions and Attitudes Towards Abortion: A Comparison of Lutheran and Orthodox Countries

  • Olga BreskayaEmail author
  • Pål Ketil Botvar
  • Anders Sjöborg
  • Silviu Rogobete
Part of the Religion and Human Rights book series (REHU, volume 4)


This article compares students’ attitudes towards human rights in countries with different religious traditions, namely Lutheran-dominated Scandinavian countries and Christian Orthodox countries in the eastern part of Europe. The four countries involved in this study are Belarus, Romania, Norway and Sweden, and our focus is on students’ attitudes towards human rights—especially reproductive health and women’s rights. The effect religion has on attitudes to such rights is a central part of our analysis. In addition, the article will examine the relationship between trust in institutions and support for human rights. Previous studies report that trust in institutions correlates positively with values that stress stability, protection, and preservation of traditional practices, correlating negatively with values that emphasise independent thought and change. On this basis we expect that trust in governmental institutions will have different effects in countries with democratic and authoritarian regimes.


Human rights Abortion Women’s rights Religiosity Trust Authoritarianism Democracy Belarus Romania Norway Sweden 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga Breskaya
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pål Ketil Botvar
    • 2
  • Anders Sjöborg
    • 3
  • Silviu Rogobete
    • 4
  1. 1.University of PadovaPadovaItaly
  2. 2.KIFO Institute for Church, Religion, and Worldview ResearchOsloNorway
  3. 3.Uppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  4. 4.West University of TimisoaraTimișoaraRomania

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