ADVERTISING
 
Monday, April 6   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Coronavirus
Which of these online initiatives should churches prioritise?






SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Study
 

Netherlands: More Atheists than Believers

Study shows 17% of the Dutch believe in God, slightly more than 25% describe themselves as atheists and the absolute majority, 60%, waver between belief and unbelief. Number of believers amongst young people is higher than amongst older people.

SOURCES Livenet.ch AUTHOR Evangelical Focus TRANSLATOR Nicky Seadon AMSTERDAM 29 JANUARY 2015 13:00 h GMT+1
netherlands atheists christians Photo: Pascal Lagarde (Flickr)

In the Netherlands there are, for the first time in more recent history, more atheists than people who believe in God. This is the conclusion reached by the market research institution ‘Ipsos’ following their latest survey.  



17% of the Dutch believe in God, slightly more than 25% describe themselves as atheists and the absolute majority, 60%, waver between belief and unbelief. This is the conclusion reached by the survey, which was designed by the political scientist André Krouwel and the professor of theology Joke van Saane



 



UNDECIDED MAJORITY



According to the survey the majority of those questioned describe themselves as agnostics, or unable or unwilling to commit themselves definitely in matters of faith (agnostics think that you cannot be sure about whether there is such a thing as a higher being). Therefore faith is continuing to dwindle steadily, as comparative figures from previous surveys prove. Only in 2012 there were still more believing than unbelieving people in Holland.     



One explanation for this trend, according to Professor van Saane, is that the modern person has himself and his feelings in the spotlight and allows himself to be guided by them. Surprisingly the number of believers amongst young people is higher than amongst older people.



As this is the first study with a conclusion of this kind, others, such as the protestant theologian Joep de Hart, think that it is still too early for attempts at explanation like this one. Even if only a relatively small percentage of people describe themselves as believing, 53% of the population say at least that they believe in some form of life continuing after death and over 40% describe themselves as ‘spiritual people.’       



 



‘EARLY CHRISTIAN’ OPPORTUNITY



The current figures from the Netherlands are also mirrored in the latest studies from Germany or Switzerland. Here the circumstances are very similar. The question is how churches and congregations can react to this. A culturally pessimistic swansong to ‘Christian Western civilisation’ does not, in practice, get anyone anywhere. In fact the church finds itself today, much more than before, in an ‘early Christian’ setting: Christian values and issues are not automatically binding on all, and believers are for the time being in the minority. High time to take advantage of the opportunity and to bring faith up for discussion again.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Netherlands: More Atheists than Believers
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Jonathan Tame: Economy, looking back at the decade Jonathan Tame: Economy, looking back at the decade

The Director of the Jubilee Centre (Cambridge) analyses the impact of the financial crises on families, and the future of the workplace in a connected world, from a Christian perspective.

 
Jim Memory: Europe, looking back at the decade Jim Memory: Europe, looking back at the decade

Jim Memory analyses the main issues that have changed Europe in the 2010-2019 decade. How should Christians live in a continent that has lost its soul?

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Photos: European Week of Prayer Photos: European Week of Prayer

Christians joined the Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer in dozens of European cities as local churches came together to worship God. 

 
Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’ Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’

Photos of the student conference that brought together 3,000 European Christians in Germany. ‘Revive our hearts, revive our universities, revive Europe’.

 
VIDEO Video
 
How should Christ's love inform your parenting of teenagers? How should Christ's love inform your parenting of teenagers?

Dave Patty shares about the notion of parenting children on God’s behalf.

 
What is a prayer meeting? What is a prayer meeting?

“Prayer is like a fire. One spark that someone prays should ignite a passion in someone else”. Mike Betts leads the network of churches Relational Mission.

 
Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’ Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’

A video summary of the student conference that gathered 3,000 in Karlsruhe, Germany. 6 days in 6 minutes.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.