One in five churches in the Netherlands are no longer used for religious purposes
One in five churches in the Netherlands are no longer used as a place of worship and most have been turned into homes or cultural centres, according to research by Trouw.
The Netherlands has some 6,900 churches but 1,400 have been given another function over the years. It is now being predicted that more churches to be de-consecrated in the coming years as the population ages.
Last year, national statistics office CBS rreported that for the first time the number of people identifying with a religious faith dropped below 50%.
Roman Catholics remain the largest religious group, comprising 24% of the population, while 6% of Dutch people identified as Protestant and 5% as Muslim.