Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/770

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414

BELGIUM

Brussels and

Verviers . . ,

suburbs ^

551,011

Bruges

Antwerp

271,284

Louvain .

Liege

167,305

Seraing

Ghent .

161,125

Tournai .

Mechlin .

54,848

Courtrai .

52,726 50,990 41,906 37,832 36,214 32,949

Naniur

. 32,732

Ostend

. 31,762

St. Nicolas

. 29,921

Alost

. 28,771

Mons

. 23,613

Charleroy .

. 23,480

1 The suburbs comprise S distinct communes.

Religion.

The Roman Catholic religion is professed by nearly the entire population of Belgium. The Protestants number only 10,000, while the Jews number about 4,000. The State does not interfere in any way with the internal aifairs of either Catholic or Protes- tant Churches. Full religious liberty is granted by the Constitu- tion, and part of the income of the ministers of all denominations is paid from the national treasury. The sums granted in the budget for 1898 are 5,234,000 francs to Roman Catholics ; 93,200 francs to Protestants ; and 19,000 francs to Jews ; besides 56,000 francs for various ecclesiastical expenses. There are few endow- ments, and the clergy derive their maintenance chiefly from fees and voluntary gifts.

The kingdom is divided into six Roman Catholic dioceses and 185 deaneries; there are 5,622 Catholic churches and chapels of all kinds. In each diocese is an ecclesiastical seminary, and there are besides 10 smaller seminaries. At the census of 1890 there were 1,643 convents in Belgium, of which number 218, with 4,775 inmates, were for men, and 1,425, with 25,323 inmates, for women.

The Protestant Evangelical Church, to which belong the greater number of the Protestants in the kingdom, is under a synod composed of the clergymen of the body, and a representa- tive from each of the congregations.

Instruction.

There are four universities in the kingdom, three of them with four ' facultes,' or branches of study, and one, Louvain, nursery of the clergy, with five ; Ghent and Liege are State universities, Brussels and Louvain free. The following table gives the number of students attending the various ' facultes ' in each of the four universities in the academical year 1896-97 : —