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In Europe’s most atheistic society, “the number of believers is on the wane, but steady growth in the ranks of the clergy will mean that the state will have to dig deeper,” remarks Lidové noviny. According to recent statistics in the Czech Republic, where churches are financed by the state, the percentage of declared Catholic and Protestant faithful fell from 32.2% of the population in 2001 to 25% in 2009, and only 10% of this group attend regular prayer and church services. However over the same period, the number of priests and pastors in the country rose from to 3,500 to 4,754. The Prague daily notes that in 2009, the Czech state paid out 55 million euros to fund their swelling ranks.