10 Key Findings about Religion in Western Europe

Here are “10 key findings about religion in Western Europe” from Pew Research Center. No. 5 is disturbing. No. 10 is interesting.

  1. Secularization is widespread in Western Europe, but most people in the region still identify as Christian.
  2. Even though most people identify as Christian in the region, few regularly attend church.
  3. Christians in Western Europe, including non-practicing Christians, believe in a higher power.
  4. Majorities in most countries across the region say they would be willing to accept Muslims in their families and in their neighborhoods.
  5. Christian identity in Western Europe is associated with higher levels of nationalism and negative sentiment toward immigrants and religious minorities.
  6. Aside from religious identity, other factors – such as education, political ideology and personal familiarity with Muslims – are associated with levels of nationalist, anti-immigrant and anti-religious minority sentiment.
  7. In Europe today, attitudes toward Jews and attitudes toward Muslims are highly correlated with one another.
  8. Majorities across the region, including most Christians, favor legal same-sex marriage and abortion.
  9. The prevailing view in Western Europe is that religion should be kept separate from government policies.
  10. The share of religiously unaffiliated adults in several Western European countries is comparable to the share of religiously unaffiliated adults in the U.S., but American “nones” are more religious than their European counterparts.

 

One comment

  1. From the point of view of evangelization, I guess this is good news. My basic point of view is that it is a requirement of Christian discipleship that the disciple be attached to a faith community that is wider than the family (or, certainly, the individual). It seems from these poll results that the attachments for most people in Western Europe are very weak or even non-existent. So they are candidates to be evangelized. And it seems to be good news that, even if unconnected to a faith community, many of them still harbor belief and faith. But we shouldn’t accept that status quo, as reported in this survey, as the best we can do.

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