Young Europeans running away from church

New research has come out this week that shows that the majority of 16- to 29-year-olds in Europe do not follow a religion. The 22 countries that were looked at would all previously have called themselves ‘Christian countries’.

Czech Republic tops the tables as the least religious country in Europe. 91% of 16- to 29- year olds in Czech Republic have no religious affiliation. In the UK, 70% of young people identify with no religion, but this figure is outstripped by Estonia, Sweden and the Netherlands, where over 70% of young categorise themselves as non-religious.

In the UK, only 7% of young adults identify as Anglican, almost surpassed by the 6% of young people who are Muslim. 59% of young Brits say that they never go to church and 63% say that they never pray. But the rest of Europe faces a similar situation: in Czech Republic, France, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands between 56% and 70% said they never go to church and between 63% and 80% said they never pray.

These statistics set the trajectory for the future – Christianity as ‘normal’ seems to have gone for good. The new default setting is ‘no religion’.

But we know that the Lord is in charge of his Church in Europe. Why not commit to pray for one European country each day? Or partner with one of our European mission partners in prayer or giving? Or why not respond to the call to ‘go’? Check out Crosslinks short-term and long-term opportunities pages to see where current openings are.