Traditional Christianity All But Kaput In Western Europe, And Even USA

Traditional Christianity All But Kaput In Western Europe, And Even USA

Couple of new surveys. One from Pew shows that only about one out of five Europeans attend services “monthly or more”.

Now this is very crude, usable only with caution, and varies by country greatly. Forty per-cent of Italians are church-going, the country with highest attendance, but (says the survey) only 9% of Finns (tied for lowest with the Swedes) make the Sunday trek.

Even though the one-in-five figure is loose, we can use it to make a sort of prediction in the following way. It turns out that, across Europe, only a bit under two in three church-goes also believe in God “as described by the Bible”. The rest believe “in other higher power or spiritual force.” Like Hollywood, say? Lucifer as envisioned by Freemasons? Or their own selves? Well, whatever. It isn’t God.

Pew only gives this two in three as an average across Europe, which is how we can use the crude one in five. Multiplying gives an imprecise estimate of 13% of church-going Christians who believe in God. That’s close to a definition of traditional Christianity, though it probably exaggerates prevalence of true believers.

Given all we’ve seen and read about western Europe, this doesn’t seem like such a bad guess, though. It’s doubtful any would double this number: in particular countries, perhaps, but not across Europe.

The number could be lower, too, but likely not too much lower, given faith still has strong pockets in Italy and Portugal, for instance. One in ten is thus likely not far off.

Pew also tracked the percent agreeing to “Science makes religion unnecessary in my life.” The average of church-goers agreeing was 17%. It’s a reasonable guess that most or all of these people believe in that odd “spiritual power” and not God.

The answer to the science question should be 0%, though (Norway is closest at 5%; France is highest at 22%) for church-goers. For if you believe in God as described in the Bible, you know science is not incompatible, except where science is in error. This bolsters the one in ten prediction.

The survey continues, showing church-goers are more likely to oppose immigration, support traditional national life, and the like. Interesting stuff, but not to the point here.

The next two questions imply we might push the one-in-ten lower. They are the percent of church-goers who favor killing the lives inside would-be mothers, and supporting gmarriage (government-defined marriage): 52% and 58%, respectively. Those are, of course, larger than the one-in-three spiritual-power believers (still among church-goers). Support of either of these pushes you out of traditional Christianity and into the camp of the enemy.

We’re down to about, oh, say, 7-8%. Again, as an average across all Western Europe, a figure with mighty uncertainty to it.

It doesn’t seem too off, though, does it?

There is no indication the situation is improving; not in Western Europe, anyway. (The East is, however, rising.) Every country Pew tracked had fewer people identifying as Christian from 2002 to 2014 (the last year numbers were available).

Enter the second survey, from PRRI, which is of the USA and about support for non-procreative sex-like activities.

First is percent who “favor laws that would protect LGBT people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing”, which is 70%. Protect “from” “discrimination is, as all know, to punish the religious by discrimination; thus, the traditional Christian should be against these laws.

Sadly, breakdowns by religion show what we all know: Unitarians, New agers and Jews are least opposed; and no religion, not even Jehovah’s Witnesses, comes higher than 29% opposing (only 23% of white Catholics oppose).

Then come in the survey more pointed questions about allowing small businesses to refuse to Bake The Cake based on religious objections. All traditions would favor these kinds of laws.

Alas, only 36% of Catholics do, only 43% of protesting Christians do, only 27% of Jews so, and, perhaps surprisingly, only 25% of Muslims do.

Of course, as above, all of these numbers have sizable plus-or-minuses. But, if it were put to a vote, it is more than a good bet that Bake That Cake would become law. (It would be called, maybe, the Pinch Of Incense Act of 2020.)

Lastly, and PRRI does not break this down by religion, only 14% of all Americans are strongly opposed to gmarriage. A similar number just oppose it.

That 14% figure must be our proxy for the approximate fraction of traditional Christians in the USA. It will be high because some non-Christians do oppose gmarriage, but not, of course, on theological grounds. But we have to add to that subtraction those who just oppose gmarriage, who, when pushed, might recall their theology better.

This varies greatly by region, here and abroad, but a cautious summary, acknowledging the uncertainties, and admitting there are far more tests than these for traditionalism, might conclude that Western Europe has about 7-8% of traditional Christians remaining, while it’s maybe 14-18% Americans. Two to one, Americans over Europeans, sounds about right.


  1. Stephen Hawking, in his book “Brief answers to the big questions” begins with a treatise on God that sums it up well: He claims that God is used to explain natural phenomena, and that as Science understands more and more natural phenomena, there is less and less room for God. I happen to believe Stephen Hawking is an outrageous ponce, but pretending to take him seriously illustrates the problem: His straw man god is a druidic, pagan one. of COURSE science removes the need for worshiping nature. But that’s not how it works.

    Excellent and terrifying article, thank you.

  2. Why go to church when the churchians have taken over the temple, cast out God, and converted it to the worship of Marx?

    We need two things to begin to improve.
    1) An internal Crusade, to drive out the enemies of Christendom and restore the faith to the people. (We are far past the time for talking, which never worked anyways.)
    2) An Inquisition, to root out the churchians. No female bishops, no gmarriage, no gay pedophile clergy, no Muslim apologists, no atheists preaching from the pulpits. (I’m looking at you, “Archbishop of Canterbury”.)

  3. Adam Gallon

    I’m amazed that intelligent people even believe in these Sky Pixies, in whatever version you like, Jewish, Christian or Muslim. (All versions of the same deity).

  4. Hoyos

    Adam Gallon, beyond rhetoric, apologetics, and debate, showing up at a religious website and acting shocked to find religious people makes you kind of a rube in your own way.

    Being shocked that intelligent people believe in God also shows you as somewhat sheltered.

    Leaving a pissy comment about it also makes you just a dick. Before you get your debatin’ muscles fired up, what response were you expecting when you act like a dick? And why should anyone engage you on any other level?

  5. Pearl

    Hoyos, thanks for that response. It puts all similar comments (and they occur often) into the proper perspective.

  6. James Bowman

    Hoyos, You win the “Best Response to a Dick” award.

  7. fatima

    No to pope Francis.
    A World Government advocate.
    A heretic.
    A pro-homosexual.
    A bully.
    A hider of pedophiles.
    An abuser of donations.
    A double-talker.
    A liar.

  8. Dave

    The problem, at least on this side of eternity, isn’t the loss of traditional religion per se, but the coincident loss of fertility. It’s not immediately obvious why this should be — what does believing in God have to do with child-bearing? Animals reproduce just fine without any supernatural beliefs; why can’t we? Science gave us contraceptives but no one’s forcing us to use them.

    It goes back to an evolutionary shortcut our ancestors took millennia ago when they invented patriarchy: Male-specific instincts were reprogrammed but female-specific instincts were not.
    Instead of mass-culling females, the only way instincts ever change, they declared, “Women shall always obey their fathers, then their husbands, so says the Word of God”, and kept females under close supervision until menopause to make sure they didn’t cheat.

    The loss of religion, along with the Victorian belief in innate female virtue (hah!), dissolved this social matrix, letting females lapse into their pre-civilizational behavior of pursuing sex with the most monkey-like men. A billionaire’s cute daughter is totally smitten with petty criminal Jeremy Meeks, and another cutie marries Charles Manson, while decent hard-working guys can’t find a wife. Women abort their babies because they want to stay in play as long as possible, and mothering instincts don’t kick in until a baby is born.

  9. Evangeline

    Hoyos, you first, classic response. I would have thought it, never written it, and there are times a vulgarity is perfect. We don’t want it as a steady diet, but once in a while, it makes a sweet dessert.

    Dave, I detect some dismay over the state of male/female relations and I couldn’t be more sympathetic. When I look around at the quality of both men AND women today, I find it amazing anybody finds anybody. But I think you’re off on your rationale for why women have deteriorated, it’s not the patriarchal bent to society that does it. Properly understood, men understand their role in life is to be spiritual head and material head of the family unit, the entire family unit. They don’t just bring home the bacon, they are to lead the family and their importance is incalculable. Women’s role, properly understood, is to be the mate, rear children, and make a happy, healthy home for husband and children. Both are to love and respect each other, and teach the children how to be good human beings and citizens. None of this can happen without understanding it all relies on God and the grace He gives them. If the people don’t understand their role and the value of each contribution, it’s going to be tough to make it work.
    If you are looking for a good woman, don’t look outside of a Christian church. Now if that means you have to look in a Protestant church, you just can’t find a good Catholic woman, so be it, but I’m sure there are good Catholic women out there. But if you can’t, go to the south, there is a church on every block and many women looking for good Christian men, wondering, where is he?? But outside of a committed Christian life, you won’t find it. If you have issues, work on solving those, then, get going, don’t blame it on evolution or anything else. Good luck and God bless.
    And by the way, I admit, lots of weird women like “the bad boy”, but those women have serious issues, and wouldn’t make good wives or mothers either. They are doing you a favor.

  10. Ron Van Wegen

    First time I’ve heard of the word “”gmarriage”. Thanks for that – it’s a keeper!

  11. Greg

    So supporting legal, safe, early-term abortions “puts you in the camp of the enemy”? Well, it’s a shame to be made into an enemy but okay.

    I think that a woman who wants to take a pill to destroy a clump of cells that is lacking most perceptible human qualities (meaning it can’t think, feel pain, etc.) should have the legal freedom to make her own damn moral decisions.

    I would be interested to hear about your opinions on Gay Marriage in more detail. You just sort of hinted at what you think.

  12. swordfishtrombone

    @ Hoyos,

    “Adam Gallon, beyond rhetoric, apologetics, and debate, showing up at a religious website and acting shocked to find religious people makes you kind of a rube in your own way.”

    Interesting to hear I’m not the only one to have placed this site’s bookmark in the ‘religion’ category rather than the science or statistics one.

  13. Plantagenet

    Greg- That “clump of cells” as you so elegantly put it is something very specific. It’s not a Tasmanian Devil, or the letter L, or a character in Measure For Measure, it’s something very much else. Singular and unique. Much, possibly most, of what will later define him or her is present and getting ready to go the instant that particular sperm and that particular egg get together. Usually when I hear the old reduction to something disposable gambit played I get so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. However just recently I was on the edge of a real Donnybrook down at the old education factory wherein a very intelligent, and very feministical doctoral candidate pretty much accepted that it was killing, possibly murder, but that the rights of women…whatever the hell those are…were more important. I like that. If your going to be a villain don’t do it by halves.

  14. Micha Elyi

    Hey, swordfishtrombone, what you call “science” was invented by men of the Church.

    You’ll now have to reorganize your browser’s bookmarks.

  15. Dave

    Evangeline, young men know that churches have a surplus of single women; many of them grew up in the same churches that their sisters still attend. They also know that a Christian wife is no less likely to divorce her husband, plunder and squander his assets, and alienate him from his children. As a victim of “abuse”, she will do so with the full approval of her congregation.

    The Bible does not tell men and women to love and respect each other, it tells men to love and cherish their wives, and wives to honor and obey their husbands. The story of Eve teaches that women are the morally weaker sex, more likely to hear Satan’s voice and mistake it for God’s, therefore the virtuous woman obeys her father or husband.

    The Victorian heresy, which appeared around 1820 and has since spread throughout all Christian denominations, reverses Genesis and teaches that women are innately pure of heart, sinning only when led astray by evil men. The prophet Ezekiel knew a whore when he saw one, but Victorians see no such thing, only innocent victims of “sex traffickers”.

    I agree that bad women do a great job of tatting themselves up and defiling their hair, advertising easy availability to bad boys and warning decent men to steer clear. But the sheer abundance of such women tells young men, “Don’t bother making anything of your life, for your reward will be marriage to one of these skanks when she’s ten years older, eighty pounds heavier, and with three mystery-meat children in tow.”

    Good women still exist, but in much smaller numbers than the men who would like to marry one. Not like in a healthy patriarchy, where women are compelled to be good, so that young debt-free virgins with no tattoos easily outnumber potential husbands.

  16. swordfishtrombone

    @ Dave,

    “The Bible does not tell men and women to love and respect each other, it tells men to love and cherish their wives, and wives to honor and obey their husbands.”

    Yeah, it was written by men.

    “The story of Eve teaches that women are the morally weaker sex, more likely to hear Satan’s voice and mistake it for God’s, therefore the virtuous woman obeys her father or husband.”

    Is there any evidence to support this claim? Most crime is committed by men:

    “Men are responsible for 85% of all indictable crimes in England and Wales, 88% of crimes against the person, 90% of murders, and 98% of sexual offences” [The (UK) Times.]

    And women are more likely to believe in God:

    “Women are almost two thirds more likely than men to believe in God, a major study of attitudes among middle aged Britons has found.” [The Telegraph (UK)]

  17. Dave

    The Bible was written by men, but at least in our society, you are not required to believe it. Even most “Christian” churches tip-toe around the Bible and teach the Gospel of Oprah instead.

    Most violent crime is committed by men, but ~90% of those criminals came from the womb of a fornicating woman, not the faithful wife of a Christian man who would have given his sons good genes and a sound moral education. I’m all in favor of hanging criminals — it’s much harder for bad boys to spread their seed when they’re dead — but it’s better to cut them off at the source.

    Women are more likely to say they believe in God, but when you reject the Bible, “God” is just a voice in your head telling you how awesome you are.

  18. Anonymous

    Just an observation, in every single country I visited that has socialized medicine, their churches are empty. Is there a messaging going on here that they don’t need Papa God anymore. Papa State is now going to take care of them.? Think about it. Every single atheistic, communist government in the world has always insisted on free medicine for all.

  19. P

    Christianity is dead in Western Europe. It died a long time ago. By long I mean centuries and not decades, despite high Church attendances in the early to mid part of the 20thC.
    What those who call themselves Christians in the modern West need to do, is undo the Great Schism and return to Orthodox Christianity, if you want to preserve your faith. It was severing yourselves from Christendom that manifested in 1054, that led to a sinister Judeo-Christian civilization centuries down the line which has led to this moment: a man ‘marrying’ another man in a Church.

    A Muhammdan

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