Europe is Moving Away from Organized Religion

Czech Republic is the least religious country in Europe.

The march of Europe is clearly secular. A report published by London's St. Mary's University discovered a substantial number of young people in European countries are leaving organized religion far behind. This survey's respondents were aged between 16 years and 29 years. The report, titled “Europe's Young Adults and Religion,: showed the least religious European nation is the Czech Republic. A staggering 91 percent of Czech respondents admitted to zero religious affiliation. Coming close are Netherlands, Estonia, and Sweden. About 70 percent to 80 percent of the young adults in these three countries regard themselves as “nones” or non-religious. Conversely, Poland shows maximum religiosity. Only 17 percent of Polish young people are non-religious. Lithuania comes second with 25 percent. The author of the report is Stephen Bullivant, the theology and sociology professor at St. Mary's University.

According to Bullivant, religion in Europe was in a “moribund” state. Other than a few exceptions, most young adults do not identify with any religion or practice it. He warned that this will only increase in the future. The professor opined that Christianity as the default European religion is gone and with a large probability of never coming back. This could continue for the coming 100 years.

Europe is Moving Away from Organized Religion

St. Mary’s University

The data however displayed notable variations. Countries geographically located adjacent to one another could throw up radically different religious profiles. This holds true even if the nations have similar historical and cultural backgrounds. Religious affiliation has gone down everywhere except for Ireland, Poland, and Portugal. Only in those three nations do more than 10 percent of young individuals attend church services multiple times per week.

Bullivant said a large number of Europeans have not passed through the church doors after they got baptized. Cultural religious identities are not being passed from the parents to their children. It simply does not stick to the new generation of young people. The UK statistics were affected by many people emigrating to the island nation. About 20 percent of British Catholics were foreign-born. The academic pointed out that since the birthrate of Muslims is more than the general population, their retention rates are also much higher. Those who practice religion in modern Europe swims against the “nones” tide.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter