Loading
Spiritual renewal underway in Holland…but outside the public sphere
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Religion, especially Christianity, appears to be making a comeback in the ultra secular Holland, although those who are returning to the faith are seeking refuge from public life rather than engaging it.

That is the conclusion of an analysis entitled, “The Post-Secular Future of Holland,” by Dutch journalist Joshua Livestro.

After commenting on the increase in the number of people that pray at their places of work and companies that allow for public prayer, Livestro cites the book by Adjiedj Bakas and Minne Buwalda, in which the authors assert that “God is back in Holland,” and they cite as proof the return of crucifixes and religious symbols to the classrooms of Catholic schools.

But not all the news is good.  Livestro explains that the Christian confessions have been losing members.  The outlook is not good for “Protestant churches,” as their membership has declined from 23% of the populace in 1950 to 6% today,” and according to government statistics, the numbers are expected to drop to 2%.  The number of Catholics has gone from “42% in 1958 to 17% today, and it is expected to drop to 10% in 2020.”

Religious practice among young people is on the rise, however, and Livestro notes that despite the process of secularization, young people continue attending church.

Another phenomenon that seems to confirm the tendency towards a “post-secular society” is the trend among many new churches to convert “cultural centers, sporting venues, school auditoriums, parking lots and even night clubs” into places of worship.  “The idea seems to be to make the place look as little as possible like traditional places of worship in order to attract more believers,” Livestro states.

Similar to the first Christian communities, believers are also meeting more frequently in private homes, where they “share in meals and adoration.”

In Livestro’s opinion, “For better or for worse, Dutch Christianity is an underground phenomenon.”  “Dutch Christians have withdrawn from the public sphere, whether voluntarily—as in the case of home-churches or the movement of young churches—or because they lack confidence to speak publicly about their faith to an unbelieving audience,” he added.

While Christians have gradually disappeared from public life, he continued, “Muslims are becoming more and more prominent” and now make up “6% of the Dutch population.”  As an example Livestro cites the new mosque being built in Amsterdam.

Muslims are mostly interested in keeping their fellow believers from leaving Islam, Livestro asserts, adding that it is “very unlikely that Dutch Islam would become a serious competitor of Christianity, which has little to fear from a rival that rejects proselytism and must still come to grips with the purifying fire of religious liberalism.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Nov
28

Liturgical Calendar

November 28, 2014

Friday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 21:29-33

Gospel
Date
11/28/14
11/27/14
11/25/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Rev 20: 1-4, 11-21:2
Gospel:: Lk 21: 29-33

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
11/28/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 21:29-33

Homily
Date
11/28/14
11/27/14
11/25/14