Brussels Worship Guide
Brussels is a very cosmopolitan city and caters to many different religions. Belgium is predominantly a Roman Catholic country and as such most churches are Catholic, however, there are many other houses of worship for other religions. Brussels has one of the highest Muslim populations of any western European city with an estimated 160,000 (roughly 17% of the total population) people. There is a significant Jewish population as well, around 15,000, with more than a dozen synagogues representing all streams of faith.
A comprehensive list of English-speaking Christian churches and groups in Brussels can be found at http://churchestogether.be/
There are around 350 mosques in Belgium, catering to the approximately 450,000 Muslims living here. Around 25% of Brussels is Moslem. The most famous mosque in Brussels is the Great Mosque located in Cinquantenaire Park. This building was given as a gift to King Faisal ibn Abd al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia on his visit to Belgium by King Baudouin in 1967 that it may be used as a house of worship by the growing number of Muslims in the country.
The commune of Molenbeek is home to the largest concentration of mosques, with over twenty, including the Al-Khalil Mosque which is the biggest in Belgium. This mosque also serves as a social and cultural center and Molenbeek is a reflection of the diversity in Belgium, with almost two-thirds of the population being Islamic.
There are around 20,000 people of the Jewish faith living in Brussels. The Great Synagogue of Europe, located in the city of Brussels is the main synagogue in Brussels and was dedicated by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on 4 June 2008 as the focal point of Judaism in Europe. The building was designed in 1875 in a Romanesque-Byzantine style and survived the Holocaust during which approximately 25,000 Belgian Jews died. Today Belgium has the fourth largest Jewish community in Europe, around 42,000. There are over a dozen synagogues in Brussels as well as three Jewish schools, mainly located in the center of the city.
There are approximately 10,000 practicing Hindus in Belgium. Brussels, Antwerp and Gent are home to the vast majority and the Hindu Forum of Belgium is based in Brussels. Other Hindu organizations include the Bhartiya Samaj, the Antwerp India Association, Indo-Belgian Association (Gent), the Brussels Puja Committee and the Shanti Darshan.