The police raided three buildings belonging to the Jehovah's Witnesses last month in an investigation into sexual abuse within the religious community. Four homes were also searched, with the goal of finding documents on internal investigations, NU.nl reports.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, adopted a motion that will allow kids in public schools to refuse participating in religious acts during a school trip to a religious institution like a church, mosque or synagogue. Parents can apply for an exemption for their kids, the motion states, RTL Nieuws reports.
For the first time in the Netherlands' history, fewer Dutch are religious than those who aren't, Statistics Netherlands reported on Monday. Last year 49 percent of Dutch aged 15 or older indicated they belonged to a religious group, 51 percent are not religious.
In 2016 the Dutch population was evenly split - 50 percent religious, 50 percent not religious. In 2012, 54 percent of Dutch belonged to a religious group.
The Peace Palace in The Hague is working on a historic friendship treaty between the largest religions in the world. The intention is to have religious world leaders like the Pope, Grand Mufti and Dalai Lama sign the declaration of friendship in The Hague in June 2020, The Carnegie Foundation and the Elijah Interfaith Institute announced, ANP reports.
The Dutch government wants to register the race, ethnicity, political views, and religion or philosophical conviction of anyone who applies for or renews a firearm license. These new requirements for firearm licenses are written in a legislative proposal that will be submitted to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, next month, the Volkskrant reports.
Klaas Dijkhoff, the leader of the parliamentary faction of ruling party VVD, announced in a critical open letter addressed to archbishop Wim Eijk that he is leaving the Roman Catholic church. "I choose for love and people instead of the restrictions and the church", Dijkhoff wrote, NOS reports.
The Catholic Church is rapidly disappearing from the Netherlands. Over ten years the entire archdiocese of Utrecht will probably only consist of 10 to 15 churches that still hold the Eucharistic celebrations, compared to the current 280 churches, Archbishop Wim Eijk said in an interview with the Gelderlander.
There is a growing group of young salafists in the Netherlands who politicians can't get a grip on, according to a study by Mohammad Nazar Soroush at Tilburg University, for which he is receiving his doctorate, NOS reports.
Nazar Soroush studied salafist Muslims in the Netherlands for 15 years. He visited 64 religious meetings over the past three years, and listened and watched young salafists at mosques, foundations and leisure activities. Salafists are Muslims who try to live as strictly as possible to the authentic, pure form of Islam.
Jawed S., the 19-year-old man arrested for stabbing two American tourists at Amsterdam Central Station on Friday, told the authorities that he committed the attack because people in the Netherlands insult Islam, the Public Prosecutor said on Monday afternoon, NU.nl reports.
The Netherlands immigration service IND is making changes to the way they test asylum seekers' sexuality and religion. Currently the differences in cultures sometimes leads to mistakes being made, ANP reports.
Over the past ten years Dutch Muslims' faith became increasingly important to them, according to a study by social and cultural planning office SCP. The researchers attribute this partly to increased tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims and the feeling of exclusion that stems from that, NOS reports.
Mayor Pauline Krikke of The Hague is arranging extra security for the Hindu temple in Schilderswijk after the temple was vandalized for the second time in a week.The windows of the temple were broken on Tuesday night. The same thing happened last week, NOS reports.
"I have expressed my support", the Mayor said to the broadcaster. "This vandalism has to stop. I also had extensive consultations with the police and gave the order to place camera surveillance at the temple as quickly as possible. I hope that this will help to bring back calm and restore public order."
Housing association De Voorzorg in Hoensbroek discriminated against potential tenants between 2013 and 2016, according to forensic investigation by Integis. When talking to potential tenants, the housing association looked at things like race, appearance, health, sexual orientation, religion, ex-partners, hobbies and even body odor, and this played a role in the allocation of housing, NOS reports.
Anti-Islam movement Pegida is planing to roast pigs on the spit in front of five mosques during Ramadan. The action is planned for mosques in Arnhem, Gouda, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, during the evening prayer, AD reports.
The number of reports of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses now stands at 267, Reclaimed Voices, a foundation that manages the hotline for this type of abuse, said to newspaper Trouw.
At least 30 Islamic organizations in the Netherlands have applied for and received funding from conservative Gulf States in recent years. This involves millions of euros coming to the Netherlands from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, NRC and Nieuwsuur report based on confidential government information they managed to get hold of.
The number of complaints about discrimination against people with disabilities reached a record high last year. The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights received a total of 810 such complaints, compared to 579 in 2016 and 342 in 2015, RTL Nieuws reports.
Dutch newspaper Reformatorisch Dagblad (RD) faced a storm of social media criticism after the Christian newspaper distributed flyers calling for protest against a Suitsupply ad campaign showing kissing men with its newspapers on Monday.
Controversial imam Fawaz Jneid from The Hague called Rotterdam mayor Ahmad Aboutaleb an 'enemy of Islam' and a renegade Muslim in an hour long preach on social media, reports the Telegraaf, who had the Arabic preach translated to Dutch by a credited interpreter.
Ruling party ChristenUnie wants violence with a religious or racist motive to be punished more harshly, as is already the case for violence against public officials. "If you fulfill a public function in the public domain and are attacked, we believe you need extra protection. That must also apply here", said Gert-Jan Segers, leader of the Christian party, NOS reports.
The Amsterdam party for the elderly PvdO refuses to work with the D66 over a statement candidate councilor Yassmine El Ksaihi made about homosexuality in an interview with NRC in 2010. The D66 candidate said that "homosexuality is a sin in Islam".
"This statement is pure homophobia and seriously impedes the emancipation of homosexuals", Wil van Soest of the PvdO said to the Telegraaf. The party will not work with the D66 as long as it supports homophobia, according to the newspaper.
The Kerst Event Zwolle - the biggest living nativity scene in the Netherlands - does not allow Muslims to play a part in their nativity scene. "You can hardly play the role of Joseph if you are not a Christian yourself", co-organizer Cees Scholten said. But that reasoning does not sit well with everyone, De Gelderlander reports.
The majority of countries violate the rights of atheists and non-religious people, according to the annual Freedom of Thought report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union. Boris van Ham, chairman of the Dutch Humanist Association, calls on the Dutch government, "as a representative of one of the most secular countries in the world", to work for the freedom of belief for believers and non-believers alike, Trouw reports.
Reclaimed Voices, a foundation set up in the Netherlands to denounce sexual abuse by Jehovah's Witnesses, received 46 reports of abuse in just a week's time. The number of reports is shocking, Frank Huiting, one of the founders and himself a victim of sexual abuse in a closed Jehovah's Witnesses community as a child, said to broadcaster NOS.