The Netherlands is no longer a religious country, think tank says
The number of people in the Netherlands describing themselves as atheist or agnostic has exceeded the number of religious people for the first time, the government’s socio-cultural think tank SCP said on Thursday.
Various surveys show that about half the population is agnostic or atheist and that’s double since the first surveys in the 1960s and 1070s, the SCP said.
At the same time, religion and religious communities are losing their influence in society and in decision-making, according to the SCP. He points out that this has had positive effects, both in terms of personal freedom and in terms of attitudes towards sexual diversity.
Yet there are also caveats. ‘Instead of searching for meaning in life, individual nonbelievers search for meaning in their own lives,” the SCP said. They do this through personal development, caring for others, or seeking intense experiences.
‘This can lead to greater mental strain and a possible increase in associated problems, such as burnout,” the SCP said.
Furthermore, the agency warns that there is a growing lack of understanding between Christians, Muslims and other religious communities and those who are not religious.
He recommends that government policy focus on building understanding and creating a society in which everyone can participate and is valued.
Thank you for your donation to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have donated over the past few weeks. Your financial support has helped us extend our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into evenings and weekends and ensure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial support of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate information on all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.
If you haven’t donated yet, but would like to,
you can do it via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.