Dutch less devout

02/01/2001 10:00

Church attendance has dropped sharply in the last thirty years. While 41% of the population considered themselves as belonging to a religion thirty years ago, today this has fallen to 23%. Moreover, the people who say they are religious go to church less often.

This pattern is most noticeable among Roman Catholics. Their religiousness has halved. In 1977 six out of ten Catholics went to church at least once a month, today only three out of ten do so. The decline has been less drastic in the Dutch Reformed church, from 42% to 36%.

The Calvinists were and are the most faithful churchgoers: in 1977 86% went to church at least once a month, in 1999 this was 69%. For the remaining religions in the Netherlands church attendance shows the same pattern as the Dutch Reformed church; a fall from 59% to 50%.

Church attendance at least one a month
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Wijnand Advokaat