Summary - Christians in the Netherlands

Church participation and Christian belief

Original title: Christenen in Nederland

Secularisation and falling numbers of adherents to the Christian faith will continue in the Netherlands. On the other hand, younger churchgoers are becoming more religious in many respects. Christian migrants also represent an increasingly important Christian faith group.

These are some of the main findings from 'Christians in the Netherlands’, a report that attempts to identify major shifts in religion in the Netherlands, such as those identified in past decades using population surveys. In addition to population surveys and figures provided by the churches themselves, interviews with religious leaders and observations were also used.

The study sought to explore the following questions. Which developments have occurred in the church and the Christian faith in our country? To what extent are these developments consistent the international picture, and what is the international picture? Do these developments vary between denominational environments? Are there differences between Roman Catholics and Protestants? Are they happening to the same extent and in the same way among younger and older people? What implications do they have for Dutch society?

This publication is the second of three studies on religion and spirituality. The first part, The religious experience of Muslims in the Netherlands. A focus on diversity and change, described religious developments within the Muslim community in the Netherlands. The third part will focus mainly on the spread and impact of forms of spirituality outside the church and on the views and values of non-churchgoers and non-believers.