Two-thirds of people in Netherlands have no religious faith

Majority say church and state should be separate.Majority say church and state should be separate.

Fewer than a third of Dutch people have a religious faith and nearly one in four describe themselves as atheists, according to the latest census of belief in the Netherlands.

The trend towards secularisation also saw a decline in the number of people describing themselves as spiritual, which dropped from 40% 10 years ago to 31%. The number who believed in the existence of a higher power fell from 36% to 28% over the same period.

Overall 25% of people identified themselves as Christian, while 5% were Muslim and 2% belonged to another faith group.




The survey also found support for the separation of church and state, with a majority saying that politics and education should not be influenced by religion.

Within the Christian group the survey also found a trend towards more secular beliefs. Just 13% of Catholics believe in heaven and fewer than half believe that Jesus is the son of God. The trend was less pronounced among the Protestant congregations.

Around 2,100 people were canvassed for the ‘God in Nederland’ survey, which has been carried out every 10 years since 1996.