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Pagan Europe? Most Europeans Say They Are Christian

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Despite low church attendance and unorthodox beliefs about Jesus and Christianity, most Europeans say they are Christian.
A Pew Survey of 15 European nations found that a surprising 91 percent said they were baptized as a Christian, 81 percent were raised Christian and 71 percent say they currently identify as Christian.  
But that's where most of the good news about European Christianity ends.
The Pew poll found that most European "Christians" seldom go to church and are best described as "non-practicing Christians." They do not believe in God "as described in the Bible," but tend to believe in some other higher power or spiritual force.
In Catholic-majority Spain, only about one-in-five non-practicing Christians, 21 percent, believe in God "as described in the Bible."
The lowest church attendance is in Sweden and Finland, at only 9 percent.
Church attendance by Christians is highest in Italy at 40 percent, Portugal at 35 percent, and Ireland at 34 percent, all majority Catholic nations.
The vast majority of "non-practicing Christians," like the vast majority of the non-Christians in Western Europe, favor legal abortion and same-sex marriage.
Still, a surprising number of these non-practicing Christians – 87 percent – say they are raising their children as "Christians."

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About The Author


Since joining CBN News, Dale has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America. Dale also covered China's opening to capitalism in the early 1990s, as well as the Yugoslav Civil War. CBN News awarded him its Command Performance Award for his reporting from Moscow and Sarajevo. Since 9/11, Dale has reported extensively on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe. Follow Dale on Twitter @dalehurd and "like" him at