Some 23,000 people officially left the Catholic church in the Netherlands last year, up 25% on 2009, according to Radboud University researchers.
In particular, many young people aged 20 to 40 wrote themselves out of the official church register, the researchers said.
The researchers say the sexual abuse scandal and the row over the refusal of a priest to give communion to an openly gay man has led to some people leaving the church.
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