Atheist Clergy in Dutch Christian Church

By Robert PigottReligious affairs correspondent, Amsterdam

The Rev Klaas
Hendrikse can offer his congregation little hope of life after death,
and he’s not the sort of man to sugar the pill.

An imposing figure in black robes and white clerical collar, Mr
Hendrikse presides over the Sunday service at the Exodus Church in
Gorinchem, central Holland.

It is part of the mainstream Protestant Church in the
Netherlands (PKN), and the service is conventional enough, with hymns,
readings from the Bible, and the Lord’s Prayer. But the message from Mr
Hendrikse’s sermon seems bleak – “Make the most of life on earth,
because it will probably be the only one you get”.

“Personally I have no talent for believing in life after
death,” Mr Hendrikse says. “No, for me our life, our task, is before

Follow this story

US Hispanics Abandoning Organized Religion

Crucifixes, Virgin Mary statuettes, ornate Spanish-style churches: so
many religious images seem permanently linked with Hispanic Americans.
But that’s eroding fast, according to US pollster George Barna.

In the fourth update
on his annual survey of American religion, Barna says this
once-reverent group has been attending church and Sunday school less,
volunteering less at church, and reading the Bible less over the last 20

And their religious life is fading faster than those of whites  and blacks in America, the report adds.

ethnic group that reflected the most profound level of religious change
over the last 20 years was Hispanics,” the report says. It adds that
Hispanics have changed more than the other two groups both in the degree
of religious belief and behavior and across more categories.

Read more:

Follow this story

Atheism Wins Converts as Aussie Census Looms

ALMOST 15,000 people have joined an Atheist Foundation of Australia push to mark “no religion” on the coming census.

The foundation has begun unveiling billboards urging people to take the religion out of politics.

Thousands have also vowed to mark “no religion” in a Facebook campaign.

AFA president David Nicholls said many people selected the religion they were born into, despite not being religious.

He said the transfer of taxpayers’ money to religious organisations was justified on the basis of the census results.

than 70,000 people declared themselves Jedi order members in 2001 but
Mr Nicholls warned such an answer was now marked as no response.


Follow this story

Selling Human Organs: Ritual Killings for Medicine, and the Quest for Secular Healing!

Arguments revolving around the ethics of critical thought maintain that colonialism, and in this case, the British, were responsible for the invention of superstitious insanity, diluting the traditional practices that African communities had within the…

Follow this story

Catholic Church Admits Wrongdoing in Forced Australian Adoptions

The Catholic Church in Australia has issued a national
apology over past adoption practices that have been described as a
“national disgrace”. The apology was prompted by national media investigation into claims of abuse and trauma in Newcastle.

is believed at least 150,000 Australian women had their babies taken
against their will by some churches and adoption agencies between the
1950s and 1970s.

Follow this story