Religion in the Netherlands on the wane: more non-believers than religious followers

Do you believe in God? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

The Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) has been asking that question since the mid-60s. Now, since the first time of those initial surveys, the answer was most frequently “nee“. ๐Ÿ™…

Over the past decades, the proportion of non-believers in the Netherlands has been examed through different surveys, but this new study is the first to minutely map the group, reports the NOS.

READ MORE | Religion in the Netherlands: a perspective on the different religions in the country

The study Buiten kerk en mosque (Outside church and mosque) is the third part of a larger research project. The first and second parts focused on Christians and Muslims in the Netherlands.

Half the Dutch population is either atheist or agnostic

According to the SCP, the exact percentage of non-believers in the Netherlands will vary depending on the specific type of research and how the questions are phrased.

Nevertheless, the new figures make it clear that around 50% of Dutchies consider themselves atheist or agnostic.

So what’s the difference? Atheists deny the existence of a God, whereas agnostics argue that it’s impossible for humans to know whether a God is watching over us or not.

Dutch religious institutions are losing ground

With the percentage of non-believers in the Netherlands being almost double that of the mid-60s and late-70s, religious institutions are losing their influence on Dutch social life, says the SCP.

The SCP also highlight that the decline of religion is part of what has made the Netherlands the open-minded country it is today. ๐Ÿ™Œ

Sadly, the SCP also warns that Dutch open-mindedness only goes so far. The researchers find that there may be more misunderstanding between believers (Christians, Muslims and others) and non-believers than meets the eye.

READ MORE | Dutch Quirk #63: Hate on the Netherlandsโ€™ bible belt

Therefore, they urge Dutch politicians to promote mutual understanding and acceptance and in that way create a society where everyone feels they can participate fully.

What’s your experience of religion in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Christine Stein Hededam ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ
Christine Stein Hededam ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ
A Dane with a special place in her heart for Minnesota, Christine is now falling in love with everything Dutch. Between finishing her bachelorโ€™s degree, learning Dutch, and doing yoga teacher training, you will find her wandering about the Hague. Always up for visiting new places, she loves to explore the Netherlands with friends and takes pride in scoping out cute cafรฉs (wherein to discuss books, big plans, and food).

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