More importantly, perhaps, is the fact that Czechs are quite proud of this. A couple of years ago, the LA Times quoted Lawrence Cada:
There’s a hostility toward what religion did to them in the past. The Czechs say they’re the most atheist country in Europe, and they say it with some pride This is how Western civilization may look in 50 years, because people here believe they live a full life without any religion.
Roman Catholicism is the traditional religion of this region, but people aren’t giving it much attention. They see it as a religion of oppression and there aren’t enough priests to meet what little demand there is for them — it isn’t uncommon or one priest to have to travel to nine parishes to celebrate Mass. According to psychiatrist Libor Growsky:
I’m a nonbeliever. It’s connected to our history. Religion limited the freedom of the people. I don’t see a difference between the Communists and the Catholics. They each want people to comply with their ideals My sense of morality comes from literature and my family.
Perhaps the most telling symbol of this is St. Vitus Cathedral, the Gothic centerpiece of Hradcany Castle. The Roman Catholic Church wants to regain control of it. The government, however, views it as a museum for the past and wants to keep it that way. A fitting state of affairs, it seems to me.