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From ‘Do you believe in God?' to ‘What makes your life meaningful?' Unbelief in the Netherlands
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From ‘Do you believe in God?' to ‘What makes your life meaningful?' Unbelief in the Netherlands

(Peter Derkx) The Low Countries - 2002, № 10, pp. 30-35

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In the sixteenth century, some 18,000 ‘unbelievers' were tortured and executed in the Low Countries. They were not even ‘atheists', as atheism was an exceptional phenomenon up to 1850. The author describes the history of, for example, De Dageraad (the first atheist organisation in the Netherlands) and the Humanistisch Verbond (HV; Humanist League). The current social and cultural situation in the Netherlands is such that talking about ‘belief' and ‘unbelief' is something that belongs to the past: the Church is no longer the absolute norm from which only a few individuals deviate. Believers are now in the minority

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