Fewer young Dutch religious

Rosary on an open bible (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/James Chan) cross, jesus, roman catholic . (Rosary on an open bible (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/James Chan))

The proportion of young Dutch between the ages of 15 and 25 years who see themselves as religious and belong to a church or religious group, decreased from 49 percent in 2010 to 41 percent in 2015, Statistics Netherlands said on Wednesday.

The decrease was the strongest among young adults, aged 18 to 25, decreasing from 48 percent in 2010 to 40 percent in 2015. But a decrease could also be seen among teenagers, aged 15 to 18 years. In this group the proportion of religious teens dropped from 51 percent to 45 percent in five years. 

Most Dutch young people (59 percent) do not consider themselves religious. 17 percent are Roman Catholic, 11 percent belong to the Protestant church and 8 percent are Muslim. The other 5 percent believe in other faiths like Judaism, Hinduism or Buddhism. 

Just because young people see themselves as religious, does not necessarily mean they attend church, mosque or other forms of religious meetings on a regular basis. 31 percent of the religious young people go to a religious gathering at least once a month. Church attendance is best among young Protestants, 56 percent of which go to church at least once a month. Islam comes in second place with 36 percent of Muslim youth attending mosque at least once a month. Only 6 percent of young Catholics go to mass regularly.