On a rudimentary level, Europe is divided along three religious lines: Protestant in the north and west, Catholic in the south and Orthodox in the east. Each of these churches is further subdivided liturgically and nationally. There are state churches in countries like England, Malta, Denmark and Iceland. In other countries, the state religion has decreased in importance since the 19th century. For example, although the Netherlands were officially a Protestant country until 1848, Catholics now form the largest group of believers, with 24 percent of the Dutch identifying as Catholic in 2015. The various Protestant churches are attended by roughly 15 percent of the Dutch.
Of Finland’s 5.5 million inhabitants, 4.1 million identified themselves as Christian. Nearly 7.6 million people in Sweden were members of Sweden's main church, the New Church. In southern Europe the Catholic church is most prominent. Only 3.2 million out of approximately 60 million Italians did not belong to the Roman Catholic church, the majority of them Protestants. In a recent survey, 30 percent of the respondents said they think being Catholic is very important for being truly Italian. According to a recent survey, in Belgium too the majority of the population identified itself as Christian, although the share of church-attending Christians was just ten percent.
In Belgium, the most important reason to leave a religion was 'gradually drifting away from religion', but a large number of people also mentioned 'no longer believing in their religion's teachings'. The same survey in the Netherlands led to similar conclusions. According to a majority, the place of religion in life was just not too important, or not at all important.
Alternative religions are becoming increasingly popular in Europe. In Italy, over 16,000 people were following exoteric and ancient wisdom religions in 2017. In 2015, 35 individuals in Finland identified themselves as involved in indigenous religions and neo-paganism. In many other countries however, numbers are not tracked and it remains unclear how many people follow a religion different from the largest world religions.
This text provides general information. Statista assumes no
liability for the information given being complete or correct.
Due to varying update cycles, statistics can display more up-to-date
data than referenced in the text.
In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 20 most important statistics relating to "Religion in Europe".