Czechoslovakia entered the communist era with a varied religious heritage. There were nine major creeds listed in its censuses: Roman Catholic, Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church (called "Uniate"), the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, Lutheran, Calvinist, Orthodox, the Czech Reformed Church (the Hussites), the Old Catholic Church, and Judaism. Nearly 6 percent of the population was without religious preference. At the time of the communist takeover, two of every three citizens were Roman Catholics, but within each major ethnic group there was a small minority of Protestants: Bohemian Brethren in the Czech lands, Lutherans in Slovakia, and Calvinists among the Hungarians.
1950s and 1960s
During the Stalinist trials of the 1950s, more than 6,000 religious people (some old and sick) received prison sentences averaging more than five years apiece. Between 1948 and 1968, the number of priests declined by half, and half the remaining clergy were over sixty y