Christian practice in the Netherlands drops to its lowest point

I Am Expat

29 April 2014, by Alexandra Gowling

Confidence in churches, both Protestant and Catholic, has reached a nadir in the Netherlands, with numbers of Dutch churchgoers halving since 1970. The greatest drop is among Roman Catholics.

This is according to a new report by the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau on the appeal of Christian churches, participating in religious gatherings and the attitude of the Dutch to religious doctrines and the Christian faith tradition.

Fifty years ago, over a third of the Dutch population considered their minister or priest their major point of contact for problems. Now, this applies to only 10 per cent.

Instead, people are increasingly likely to see churches merely as a kind of public utility, used only when needed, such as for weddings or a funerals.

Decreasing faith in church

The decrease in faith in Christian churches has been steady since 1970. Then, more than 60 per cent of the population belonged to a religious community.

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