More non-believers than religious people in NL for first time: SCP
The Netherlands now has more non-believers than religious people for the first time, research by the social and cultural planning office showed. According to the SCP, about half of the Dutch population is now atheist or agnostic - double since this was first mapped in the mid-1960s and late-1970s, NOS reports.
Atheists believe there is no god. Agnostics think there may be a god, but that's impossible for people to know. According to the SCP, there are some fluctuations. The number of non-believers increased mainly in the first half of the previous decade. Before and after that, the number stabilized somewhat.
The researchers found that atheists and agnostics are less interested in looking for the meaning of life, instead searching for meaning in their own lives. "Developing yourself, taking care of others, having intense experiences, and knowing you are part of a greater whole are examples of how they give meaning to their lives," the SCP said.
The planning office also warned that misunderstandings might increase between religious people and unbelievers. The SCP, therefore, advised policymakers to focus on mutual understanding and acceptance in society.
A survey conducted by Ipsos in 2015 showed that 25 percent of Dutch people were athiests, 17 percent believed in the existence of a god, and 60 percent were agnostic or wavering in their beliefs.