Catholic Christmas mass attendees down over 50%

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The number of people attending Catholic Christmas mass has gone down by over 50% over the past 40 years.

This year church officials expected 1.4 million of the country's Catholics to attend mass, compared with 3.4 million in 1971.

In a normal weekend, some 200,000 people attend mass, compared with 1.5 million 40 years ago. Earlier this month, officials said they expect two-thirds of the country's Catholic churches to close their doors by 2025.

Religious services

Figures released by the national statistics office CBS earlier this month showed 16% of the Dutch population attend religious services in churches, mosques or other institutions.

Some 54% of adults describe themselves as religious, compared with 60% in 1999.

Of them, 27% are Catholics. and 18% are Protestants. Another 4% are Muslims and 6% belong to another religious denomination or philosophical creed.


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