Belgium is Most opposed to religion than other countries/regions

(Luca) #1

In a recent conversation i was reminded of a survey that checked religious belief.
And in this survey. (4th Dia/page) The question “To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements: Religion does more harm in the world than good?”

This even to me (I live in Belgium) is a shock. a striking 68% believes this.
Though i have heard many speak about why they are not religious i don’t think that their objections to religion are unanswered. Nor do i think that most of the objections about religion i have heard are all that good.

But still we need to ask ourselves what do we do about this? In my religion class i’ve answered some objections about Christianity. But thats because the people i speak to in that class are my age. And most aren’t at all interested in religion. So they aren’t really engaged into the whole thing.

This news article from 2015 (It’s in dutch but i’m going to post it anyway) Says that Belgium is one of the least religious countries in the world. 44% is religious, 30% is agnostic or just not part of any religion. And 14 % atheist. Though it does state that people under the age of 34 and people who are more educated are more religious. This seems weird to me because in some polls i’ve seen that the elite scientists/highly educated people are more agnostic/atheistic.

What do you guys think? @Casper_Hesp I am very interested in your thoughts about this. Since you are from the Netherlands wich is close to Belgium!

(Randy) #2

Very interesting. I’d like to hear more on that. I know that VanGogh worked in that area as a missionary, but that doesn’t clarify much for me in terms of the religiosity of the time. I’m from West Michigan, where there are many Dutch immigrants and children of immigrants. It’s said that immigrants often keep a mentality from the era/year in which they emigrated. Maybe that’s why there is such a religious presence here–Christian Reformed and Reformed, mainly Calvinist, churches are common. Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids helped start the NIV translation, the Haarsmas teach (or taught) there, and Plantinga, Kreeft and quite a few others are from here. My own grandfather came from Noort Brabant and had a corresponding Dutch accent with a hard “g.” I heard, though, that the Dutch church attendance did increase when the economy took a downturn in 2008-09. I also just finished Corien Oranje and Cees Dekker’s book “Science Geek Sam and His Secret Logbook,” and was grateful for the Dutch Christian insight.


I didn’t know it was that bad in Belgium. I think this has something to do with the anti-historical attitude that permeates Western society. People are so ignorant of ancient history, especially the period of the Middle Ages in all but the starkest, most obvious details (and even there, they fail, Hitchens couldn’t even tell apart the 1st from the 4th crusade) and people ignorant of ancient history tend to abuse it into supporting their view. Thus, there is the conflict thesis which states that religion and science have been historically antagonistic, an a priori truth online in irreligious forums and also a proposition rejected by every historian of science in the world. Bad history is why we have the idea of a European “Dark Ages” from 500 - 1500 AD, the myths about the Galileo trial, Hypatia, library of Alexandria, Giordano Bruno, etc. And all of this compels people to think religion is a harmful thing. And it just isn’t true. It’s just been really hard to correct all of this. I think progress is being made, though.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #4

I think by religion they mean ‘Islam’, due to rather obvious global events, as well as due to the fact that Belgium has an enormous Muslim population. If you were to replace the word ‘religion’ with ‘Christianity’, responses would be very different.

If not, then they are likely saying it based on their western liberal enlightenment values, which have their roots in Judeo-Christian ethics, so there’s that.

(Luca) #5

I do think the terrorism attacks of years back influenced the thought people have on religion. But its also Christianity.

(Luca) #6

I guess time will tell.