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 Christians the 'newest Dutch minority group'

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AMSTERDAM — Christians have become a minority group in the Netherlands as the once-pious public continues to desert its churches in droves, it was reported Thursday.

The drift away from the Christian denominations in the Netherlands continues to increase and now only 33 percent of the 16 million-strong population consider themselves part of a Christian Church, according to the latest survey highlighted in Liberal Protestant newspaper Trouw.

Eight years ago, more than 50 percent of the Dutch public felt they were part of a Christian Church. The main Christian denominations in the Netherlands are Roman Catholic, Dutch Reformed and Calvinist churches.

The latest stark figures are based on a study of religious observance and Bible usage in the Netherlands carried out by religious sociologist Hijme Stoffels.

The work — based on a sample group of 1,000 people — was carried out with the Dutch Bible Association, broadcaster NCRV, Amsterdam's Vrije Universiteit and Trouw.

The new figures are in stark contrast to a report into religious allegiances published by the Central Bureau of Statistics in 2002.


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 2004/10/22 13:28Profile





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