Church rapidly disappearing from Dutch lives

Catholic Church
St Andrew's Catholic Church in Roanoke, Virginia. 22 October 2011Joe Ravi / Wikipedia

The Dutch population is rapidly losing interest in going to church, according to social and cultural planning office SCP. The decline of the Christian faith also continues in the Netherlands. "Churches are losing in authority, binding power and popularity", the SCP said in a new report, RTL Nieuws reports.

While the Dutch population grew by 28 percent between 1970 and 2010, the number of Dutch registered with a denomination dropped by a third. In 2002, 43 percent of Dutch considered themselves to be members of a religious community. By 2016 that dropped to 31 percent. Catholic churches in particular are faced with rapidly declining popularity. On the other hand, young people within the Protestant community appear to be more motivated to search for guidance in their faith.

Three quarters of Dutch now indicate that churches have little or no connection with their own outlook on the meaning of life. Two thirds say they have little or no trust in the churches or religious organizations. Compared to other European countries, the Dutch are more often in favor of a strict separation between church and state.