European and Slavic Alphabets, Bibles, Churches, and Links
Current Religion Demographics
In the 16th century, at a time when most literature was in Latin, the first Bible in the Hungarian language was published.
The Kaldy Bible, based partly on the Vulgate, was published in 1626. Kaldy lived 1573-1634.
Modern literature, with many more modern words, appeared in the 18th and the 19th centuries. Hungarian first replaced the Roman alphabet/Latin language as the official language of Hungary between 1844 and 1849, and then again in 1867. The current Hungarian alphabet, based on Latin, uses 44 letters.
Today the population of Hungary is 9 million.
Current Religion Demographics
The first Romanian Bible, using the Bulgarian Cyrillic script spreading rapidly through Russia, was the Bucharest Bible (1688) published in Wallachia (in southern Romania), based on the Septuagint.
Modern Romanian: 31 letters, however uses the Roman alphabet.
After a 10 year transition phase starting in 1849, this became the official script in 1859 with the uniting of Wallachia and Moldavia (today Moldova) in the east. Transylvania and other smaller regions subsequently became part of Romania with the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that followed World War One.
The Cyrillic script continued to be preferred in Moldova. It was absorbed into the USSR in 1940, before becoming an independent republic in 1991-1992.
Two main Bible translations are used in Romania.
Today the population of Romania is 19 million.
- The Orthodox church (81% of the population) uses the "Biblia Sinodalã" (Bible of the Holy Synod) version. The New Testament was published in the modern Romanian script in 1905, followed by the Old Testament (based on the Septuagint) in 1914. The latest edition was published in 1988, published with the blessings of Patriarch Teoctist Arăpașu.
Note, the Septuagint is the official version of the Orthodox Church.
- Protestant denominations (6%) mainly use the more widespread translation of Dumitru Cornilescu. Its New Testament was first published in 1921, followed by the Old Testament in 1924, produced by the British and Foreign Bible Society. It was republished in 2014.
Germany and Austria
Germany Current Religion Demographics
Austria Current Religion Demographics
German is the main language of Germany and Austria. Population in Germany is 83 million, Austria 8.8 million.
The German alphabet, like English and French has 26 letters
plus it has an umlaut (oom-lowt) i.e. two dots over a, o, u,
Fällen (Fellen) schön (shern) Tür (tuer)
also ß (es-zett) pronounced as "s", causing preceding vowel to be long as in straße (strarssa).
The Slovenian alphabet (just south of Austria) uses 25 letters. Population 2 million.
Croatia and Serbia
Serbia Current Religion Demographics
Croatia Current Religion Demographics
Most South Slavic areas were under the Turkish Ottoman Empire from the 1400s to the 1800s. Many inhabitants of what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted Islam. During that time the Serb community crystallized around the Serbian Orthodox Church and came to identify themselves as “Srpski (Serb)” while Roman Catholic believers in the Turkish lands and adjoining Austro-Hungarian possessions came more and more to use the name “Krvatski (Croat)”. Click here for a list of Croatian Dictionaries.
A Serbian Cyrillic (30 letter) alphabet was published in 1818 by Vuk Karadzic (1787 - 1864).
Ljudevit Gaj's 30 letter Latin-derived alphabet was published in 1835 with the aim of matching each letter up with those Cyrillic letters, something that couldn't be done using the old Latin 23 letter alphabet (Latinski / латински). The Illyrian movement promoted this new Croatian alphabet with the publishing of the Danicza Horvatzka (Morning Star Croatia) newspaper, also in 1835. It closed however following the European revolutions in 1848.
Meanwhile in 1847 Vuk Karadzic published the New Testament (Novi Zavjet) in modern Serbo-Croatian, using his Cyrillic script. In 1868, the Old Testament was added by Duro Danicic. That same year, the script ćirilica (pronounced Kirillitsa) in Croatian or ћирилица (chirilitsa) in Serbian was officially adopted in Serbia.
The New Testament was subsequently published by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1877 using the Croatian script, followed by the Old Testament in 1895. However the translation excluded the deuterocanonical books of the Catholic tradition. Most Croatian speaking Christians are Catholic, with Orthodox and evangelical Protestant minorities. Croatia was part of Yugoslavia from 1918 to 1991.
A translation of the Holy Bible (Sveto Pismo) which included the deuterocanonical books was made in 1942 by Archbishop Dr Ivan Saric (1871-1960). He also published articles praising the "new age" of Hitler as thousands of Serbs and Jews were murdered. He died in Madrid in Spain.
Today the population of Serbia is 7 million, Croatia 4 million.
Montenegro and Bosnia, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Macedonia
Montenegro Current Religion Demographics
Bosnia Current Religion Demographics
Russia Current Religion Demographics
Belarus Current Religion Demographics
Ukraine Current Religion Demographics
Greek Catholic 9%
Latin Catholic 1.2%
Bulgaria Current Religion Demographics
Macedonia Current Religion Demographics
Montenegrin alphabet 33 letters (only 30 are officially recognized). Its population is 600,000.
Bosnian uses both the Latin (Croatian) and Cyrillic alphabets (30 letters), with Croatian in everyday use. Population 3 million.
Modern Russian: 33 letters. Population 144 million.
Modern Belarus: 32 letters. Population 9 million.
Modern Ukraine: 33 letters. Population 41 million excluding Crimea and Sevastopol.
Modern Bulgarian: 30 letters. Population 7 million.
Modern (North) Macedonian: 31 letters. Population 2 million.
Click here for Cyrillic lists, Belarusian, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Serbian and Macedonian (side by side)
Greece, Italy and Albania
Greece Current Religion Demographics
Italy Current Religion Demographics
Albania Current Religion Demographics
Modern Greek: 24 letters. Population 10 million.
Modern Italian: 21 letters. Population 60 million.
Albanian alphabet also used in Kosovo 36 letters. Population Albania 2.8 million, Kosovo 1.8 million.
The New Testament was translated into Albanian in 1827
The Czech Republic (Czechia) that includes Bohemia, also Slovakia
Czech Republic Current Religion Demographics
Christian Belief ca.7%
Slovakia Current Religion Demographics
Greek Catholic 4%
Czech alphabet 42 letters. Population today is 10 million.
Prague Bible (1488) translated from the Vulgate
In 1613, the Kralice Bible was published, said to be the "definitive" Protestant Czech Bible the way the KJV became the "definitive" Protestant English Bible. Due to its wide usage it had a major impact on the Czech language and alphabet.
Slovakian alphabet 46 letters, closely associated with Czech. A Catholic Slovak Bible was produced in the 1750s. Today the population is 5 million.
Sweden and Finland
Sweden Current Religion Demographics
Finland Current Religion Demographics
Swedish and Finnish alphabets 29 letters.
Gustav Vasa Bible was published in Sweden in 1540-1541.
Population of Sweden today is 10 million, and Finland is 5 million.
Current Religion Demographics
Polish alphabet 32 letters. Population today is 38 million.
The Jakub Wujek Bible (1599) was the main Polish Catholic Bible, based on the Vulgate.
Polish Commission of National Education set up to print Polish textbooks in 1773
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia
Lithuania Current Religion Demographics
Latvia Current Religion Demographics
Estonia Current Religion Demographics
Lithuanian alphabet 32 letters. Population 2.8 million.
Latvian alphabet 33 letters set up in 1908. Population 2 million.
Modern Estonian orthography is based on the Newer Orthography created by Eduard Ahrens in the second half of the 19th century based on Finnish orthography. The Older Orthography it replaced was created in the 17th century by Bengt Gottfried Forselius and Johann Hornung based on standard German orthography. Earlier writing in Estonian had by and large used an ad hoc orthography based on Latin and Middle Low German orthography. Some influences of the standard German orthography — for example, writing 'W'/'w' instead of 'V'/'v' persisted well into the 1930s. Estonia population 1.3 million.
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