Pew Study on Being Christian in Western Europe

Christian church in Czech Republic
Church in Pilzen, Czech Republic (Shutterstock)

A new Pew Research Center survey of 24,599 randomly selected adults across 15 countries in Western Europe examined:

  • Traditional Christian religious beliefs and behaviors
  • Opinions about the role of religious institutions in society
  • Views on national identity, immigrants and religious minorities
  • Europeans’ attitudes toward Eastern and New Age spiritual ideas and practices
  • The beliefs and other characteristics of the religiously unaffiliated population in the region.

The survey also included interviews with people of other (non-Christian) religions and some who decline to answer questions about their religious identity.

Some of the data compiled include:

  • In most European countries, non-practicing Christians formed the largest group, yet most adults surveyed still do consider themselves Christians, even if they seldom go to church.
  • Western Europeans do not look favorably on entanglements between their governments and religion. The predominant view in all 15 countries surveyed is that religion should be kept separate from government policies (median of 60 percent), as opposed to the position that government policies should support religious values and beliefs in their country (36 percent).
  • Highly educated Europeans are generally more accepting of immigrants and religious minorities.
  • The minority of Christians voice negative opinions about immigrants and religious minorities.
  • Western Europeans who identify as Christian are more likely than those who have no religious affiliation to express negative feelings about immigrants and religious minorities.
The complete report is available online as a PDF file on the Pew Research Center website.


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religious beliefs Pew Resaerch Center