Christianity is dead in much of Europe and dying fast throughout the rest of the continent. A high percentage of Europeans under age 30, no longer identify themselves as “Christian” a study indicates.
Over 50% of persons aged 16 to 29 in 13 European countries surveyed by theology professor Stephen Bullivant identified themselves as nonreligious, The Guardian reported. That means that Christians may become a minority in those historically Christian nations sometime within the next two generations.
The least Christian country is the Czech Republic where 91% of persons aged 16 to 29 identified themselves as “nonreligious,” Europe’s Young Adults and Religion a study by Bullivant indicates. More than eight out of ten; 81% of the same age group in Estonia called themselves non-believers.
Three-fourths of Swedes under 30 (75%) also identified themselves as nonreligious. There were 12 European countries in which more than 60% of those under 30 identified as nonreligious.
“Christianity as a default, as a norm, is gone, and probably gone for good – or at least for the next 100 years,” Bullivant said.
Christianity is Almost Gone in Europe
The move away from Christianity is occurring all over the continent in nations ranging from Catholic Spain (where 55% of young people are nonreligious) to Orthodox Russia (where 49% admit to having no faith).
Some historic hotbeds of Protestantism including the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are now majority secular. Around 70% of Britons under 30; and 72% of Dutch under 30 are nonreligious.
There are some anomalies; only 25% of those under 30 in Estonia’s neighbor Lithuania; another former Soviet Republic, were nonreligious. Likewise, only 39% of Ireland’s population claimed to be nonreligious; even though the Irish share a common culture and language with the UK. In Spain’s poorer neighbor of Portugal, only 42% of those under 30 identified as “nonreligious.”
The officially secular Republic of France was more religious than nations like the UK and Sweden – which have state-sanctioned churches. Only 67% of French under 30 identified as nonreligious.
The study was far from comprehensive, several large European countries including Italy, Romania, and Greece were not included. Yet it points to an interesting new reality Christians might become a tiny minority in nations they once ruled.
For example in the United Kingdom, only 7% of young adults identified as Anglicans or members of the Church of England, and 10% as Catholics. Bullivant, a professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St. Mary’s University got his data from the European Social Survey of 2014 to 2016.