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Declining church membership bottomed out in the Netherlands

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

UTRECHT A new report suggests that the downward trend in the number of people who are aligned with Dutch churches has leveled off. In recent times, each new decade saw a diminishing interest among people in maintaining ties with churches. The rising religiosity of the current generation expresses itself in more individualistic ways, and basically is described as a search for personal fulfillment. This type of religion also is more of a stand-by variety, comparable with taking insurance. The researchers note that growing churches often gain members from mainline churches, a phenomenon the Dutch call rondpompen or circulating. The report raises doubts about the claims by Evangelicals and Pentecostal churches of gaining new converts, pointing out that they are just switching their membership. The growth of Reformed Congregations is attributed solely to a high birth rate.