Religion on the Sharp Decline in Europe, Except for Islam

August 10, 2005

Source: USA Today

On August 10, 2005 USA Today reported, "Church attendance in Ireland, though still among the highest in Western Europe, has fallen from about 85% to 60% from 1975 to 2004, according to the Dublin Archdiocese... Ireland is not an exception. Every major religion except Islam is declining in Western Europe, according to the Center for the Study on Global Christianity at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass. The drop is most evident in France, Sweden and the Netherlands, where church attendance is less than 10% in some areas... The forces driving the decline include Europe's turbulent history, an increasing separation between the church and government — and perhaps ... most of all, the continent's unprecedented affluence."