Church attendance in Belgium at all time low
A study by Leuven University reveals that just 7% of Belgians attend Mass weekly.09 July 2008
BELGIUM - A study carried out by the Leuven University Centre for Political Science on behalf of the Belgian Conference of Bishops has revealed a big fall in the number of Belgians attending Mass on a regular basis.
According to the study, about 7 percent of Belgians go to Mass every week.
This is down from 11 percent in 1998.
The figures also show that about 57 percent of new born children were baptised in Catholic churches in 2006 and is down from 65 percent a decade ago.
The most dramatic fall in numbers was couples who opted for church weddings.
In 1998, 49 percent of couples opted for a church wedding in 1998 as compared to 26.5 percent in 2006.
The number of church funerals is also down from 76 percent in 1998 to 61 percent in 2006.
There are regional differences with Flanders being the most Catholic region and Greater Brussels having the lowest percentage of practising Catholics.
However, the multi-cultural mix in Greater Brussels means that many people practice other forms of religion that Catholicism.
Rural areas have the most practising Catholics with figures of 90 percent of the community attending church.
Meanwhile, church attendance is at its lowest in the centre of Belgian major cities.
[flandersnews.be / Expatica]