The Basque Country has a rich mythological history, but the population still debates over when the conversion to Christianity occurred. According to some, Christianity arrived during the 4th and 5th centuries. According to others, it didn’t take place until the 12th and 13th. From the 4th century and onwards, minor traces of Christianity in urban areas can be seen. However, various historical sources and research reveal that large-scale conversion did not begin to take place until the 10th and 11th century at earliest.
The first Christianity that spread in the Basque Country seems to have been various small bouts of Protestantism, as shown by Joanes Leizarraga’s translation of the First Testament into Basque. After Henry III of Navarre converted to Catholicism in 1589 to become king of France, Protestantism almost disappeared in France as a whole, and thus in the Basque Country as well.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Basque people remained relatively devout and churchgoing, but as time moves forward, trends are changing. In a poll done by the Basque Country’s public broadcast service (EITB), it was seen that only slightly more than 50% of Basque people polled believed in God, and the rest considered themselves agnostic or atheist. Most of the non-believers are younger generations, who have considerably less religious convictions than older generations.