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Belgians shun religion

Published on 24/02/2005

24 February 2005

BRUSSELS – A survey by Reader’s Digest has found Belgians are among the least religious people in Europe.

A total of 8,657 people from 14 European countries were asked about their beliefs, with 503 Belgians among the group.

The Belgians emerged, along with the Dutch and the Czechs, to be the most sceptical towards religion.

Some 58 percent of Belgians believe in a god compared to a European average of 71 percent.

The Poles and the Portguese emerged as the most religious Europeans with 98 percent and 90 percent of them believing in god.

On the question of whether there is life after death, Belgians prove far more sceptical than their Polish peers – only 37

percent of Belgians believe in life after death, compared to 81 percent of Poles and a European average of 53 percent.

When they were asked: “In your opinion, do we need religion to tell the difference between right and wrong?” the Belgians

also shunned religion.

While 86 percent of Poles said yes, less than a third of those living in traditionally Catholic Belgium did so (32 percent).

That makes them less inclined to turn to religion for moral direction than the rest of Europe (43 percent) and not far off

the aetheistic French (24 percent).

Overall, half of Europeans think religions are working for the good of the world, but Belgians are not convinced.

Only fewer citizens in the Netherlands find religion positive – 34 percent, compared to 39 percent of Belgians. The

Portuguese (79 percent), the Poles (78 percent) and the Spanish (72 percent) are the biggest champions of religion.

Throughout the 14 countries, Reader’s Digest found belief in god and the value of religion increases with age.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

    Subject: Belgian news