Results from a recently released research study reveal that Christianity is dying out in Europe, as young people are seemingly turning away from the faith at record rates.

The report titled Europe’s Young Adults and Religion is authored by Stephen Bullivant, a professor of theology and sociology of religion at Saint Mary’s University in London. The study looked at the self-described religious affiliation of people aged 16 to 29 years old in 22 separate European countries using data from the European social survey from 2014 to 2016.

What Professor Bullivant found is that religiosity is sharply declining in European youth, who called religion “moribund” and that “with some notable exceptions, young adults increasingly are not identifying with or practicing religion.”

The least religious country in Europe was found to be the Czech Republic, with 91% of the selected age group reporting they have no religious affiliation. The next least religious countries were Estonia, Sweden, and the Netherlands, with 70-80% of youth reporting no religious affiliation. Commenting on the shocking data, Professor Bullivant said “Christianity as a default, as a norm, is gone, and probably gone for good – or at least for the next 100 years.”

Proportion identifying with no religion.

The most religious country in Europe was Poland, with only 17% of youth reporting no religious affiliation, with Lithuania a close second with 25% of youth reporting no religious affiliation. Commenting on the signification variations religiosity from country to country, Bullivant said:

“Countries that are next door to one another, with similar cultural backgrounds and histories, have wildly different religious profiles.”

In addition to declining religious affiliation, Bullivant also found European youth are rarely attending any church services. Only in Poland, Portugal and Ireland did more than 10% of young people say they attend services at least once a week.

Frequency of attendance at religious services outside of special occasions.

Prayer life is also declining. In the UK, France, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands, between 63% and 66% said they never pray. Poland and Ireland had the highest percentage of youth who pray, with 50% and 31% saying they pray weekly or more.

Whats behind the sharp decline? Bullivant explains that immigration is the cause, at least in the case for the United Kingdom.

“One in five Catholics in the UK were not born in the UK. And we know the Muslim birthrate is higher than the general population, and they have much higher religious retention rates.”

Concluding the report, Professor Bullivant commented on the trends the data shows and the stark future possibly in store for Christian Europe.

“Cultural religious identities just aren’t being passed on from parents to children. It just washes straight off them. The new default setting is ‘no religion’, and the few who are religious see themselves as swimming against the tide. In 20 or 30 years time, mainstream churches will be smaller, but the few people left will be highly committed.”

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Comments

17 COMMENTS

  1. Still you complain about other religions. You European Christians should visit Kerala a state in india and learn. Meghalaya also somewhat good

  2. Is this a wake-up call to the Bishops, or what? Yet, not only do they deny their people “a reason to live and a reason to die”, i.e. Jesus Christ, they are digging in their heels on the abject failure of the past 50 years of Vatican 2 style (non)evangelization.

  3. You can tell them but they will never believe. The Millenials are a spoiled and pampered generation lost in the artificial world of their mobile phones, oblivious to the fundamentals of life and protected from Death. Even contemporary science confirms a God factor in our Creation. The theory of Life evolving from a massive explosion, THe Big Bang is considered utter nonsense, Darwininan evolution is a joke. No way did the myriad of life evolve from Chaos nor from one species becoming another. Life evolved according to a hugely complex master plan CREATED by an entity we know as God. When chaos started to re-emerge from HIS creation God sent his only Son to warn the people of how they needed to accept HIS FATHER’S plans or else. Today the whole world teters on the edge of ‘or else’ while the egocentric mass of people deny their God!

  4. What is the church doing about this? We are the church we must blame ourselves and get up and do something about it

    • Yes, to some degree. But the Church is largely responsible because of abuse by priests. Young
      people also are disgusted by Church treatment of the LGBTQ community. You can’t demonize a
      group of people and call yourself a Christian.

  5. These statistics should not surprise us, but what should worry us is the possibility that by forsaking God we invite the devil and his demons in to fill the vacuum. The worst horror we may be, or are already, facing is that God may be leaving us to find out yet again and again what it is like to live without Him: chaos and ruination. Two world wars speak volumes of the impact of Godlessness. Until we change I see no future for Europe except another dose of Hell (or non-existence if you don’t believe in Hell) on earth: will we change then? For a time until we repeat the horror.

  6. The decline in Christian religiosity in traditionally Christian countries began with Industrial Revolution, the Age of Enlightenment, Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, Scientific discoveries that the earth is much older than the account in the Bible all seemed to contradict the ‘God’ factor in the Genesis account in the Bible etc. In fact Copernicus and Galileo’s discovery that the Earth was not at the centre of the universe early 17th century, started the decline. The Church not being in the business of studying science, was not in a position to make sense of the new thinking and offer a theological response.
    I met a man in his 60’s from UK, who when asked what his faith affiliation was said that he was an atheist. I asked him then when he became an atheist he replied ‘from birth’! His parents were atheists before that and he just naturally accepted atheism without making a conscious choice. So atheism was not an examined choice in his case and I believe it is the case in the vast majority of Europeans who claim no religious affiliation.
    Vatican 2 was a bold and progressive step the Catholic Church undertook to address the challenges from within the Church, and it was good.
    The Church must now address the concerns of the faithful who seek to understand their faith in the light of science in a credible way.
    On the other hand on issues like abortion and homosexual marriages the Church must remain steadfast because it involves life and procreation and we should not compromise for the sake of membership.

  7. The church is flourishing rapidly on the margins, peripheries and interstitial zones across the length and breadth of the Universe.

  8. To Dr. Cajetan Coelho – The church is flourishing rapidly on the margins, peripheries and interstitial zones across the length and breadth of the Universe.

    Do you have evidence of this? If so, please present it.

  9. Let us recall that Poland is about 90% Catholic so there are strong fraternal bonds supporting them.

  10. We should remember that Poland is about 90% Catholic which creates strong social bonds to help support the practice of their religion.

  11. There is plenty of reasons why Christianity is falling. This may hurt but…
    The Church simply lacks power, the sex scandals, differing moral, social and cultural views,
    people losing interest and hope, the Church itself, many opponents of the church, and the list goes on and on.

    Many Catholics are only Catholics by baptism, you cant have a religion functioning that like, you need belief.
    How many cultural and lapsed Catholics are there… more than the Church is willing to admit.

    Replacing the population with Muslims doesnt help either. Same with the Protestant like changes of the Church after Vatican Council 2.

    Signed a former Catholic

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