A recent survey of 16- to 29-year-olds found the Czech Republic is the least religious country in Europe, with 91% of that age group saying they have no religious affiliation. Between 70% and 80% of young adults in Estonia, Sweden and the Netherlands also categorize themselves as non-religious.
The most religious country is Poland, where 17% of young adults define themselves as non-religious, followed by Lithuania with 25%.
In the Czech Republic, 70% said they never went to church or any other place of worship, and 80% said they never pray. In the UK, France, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands, between 56% and 60% said they never go to church, and between 63% and 66% said they never pray.
The figures are published in a report, Europe’s Young Adults and Religion, by Stephen Bullivant, a professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St Mary’s University in London. They are based on data from the European social survey 2014-16.
“The new default setting is ‘no religion’, and the few who are religious see themselves as swimming against the tide. In 20 or 30 years’ time, mainstream churches will be smaller, but the few people left will be highly committed,” he said.