More than half of the adult Dutch population consider themselves to belong to a church or religious or philosophical movement. One in five – considerably fewer than in the past – are regular church-goers.
Proportion attending religious meetings at least once a month
Most substantial decline among Muslims
In recent years, church and mosque attendance has been in decline and far fewer people went to religious meetings. The most substantial decline is recorded in the Muslim community. In the period 2004–2008, an average of 35 percent of Muslims went to the mosque at least once a month, as against 47 percent in 1998 and 1999.
Roman Catholic church attendance was also in decline. In the period 2004–2008, an average of 23 percent of Catholics attended a religious service at least once a month, as against 31 percent in 1998 and 1999. Protestant church attendance was fairly stable.
Half are Roman Catholics
In the Dutch population aged 18 years and older 58 percent are religious. Half of them are Roman Catholics, 9 percent are Dutch Reformed, 4 percent are Calvinists and 6 percent report to belong to the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN).
In the total population of the Netherlands, 5 percent are Muslims. In absolute figures, this amounts to 825 thousand people. Some 95 percent of them have a non-western background. With 296 thousand, Moroccans constitute the largest Muslim group, immediately followed by Turks with 285 thousand Muslims.
Informal aid workers by religious denomination
Mainly Protestants are committed to social issues
PKN members and – to a lesser degree Calvinists – show a strong social commitment. They are active as volunteers and in clubs or give aid and support to other people. People belonging to other religious denominations and non-believers are less committed.
Aid workers and volunteers by church or mosque attendance
Church attendance is also related to social commitment. Most informal aid workers belong to the group of regular church-goers, i.e. twice or three times a month. Church attendance among most volunteers is even higher, as they tend to go to church every week.