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    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

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Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of the Netherlands

Ethnicity

Most citizens in the Netherlands are ethnically Dutch, which is a primarily Germanic ethnicity. However, there have been numerous other genetic introductions making it distinct from German ethnically. There have also been a fair number of immigrants to the country in recent decades, primarily arriving to Amsterdam. Among these many ethnic minorities many come from former Dutch colonies, including many Indonesians.

Language

Dutch and Frisian are the two official languages of the Netherlands. Dutch is a western Germanic language, which falls somewhere between German and English in many ways. Frisian is spoken by a small group in the northern part of the country and this language is similar to Dutch, but falls closer to the English language side of the spectrum. English, German, and French are also widely spoken as second languages and it is not uncommon for a citizen of the Netherlands to be fluent in three or four languages.

Religion

Almost half the people in the Netherlands don't subscribe to any religion. After this, the country is divided into believers of a number of religions, the largest of these being Catholicism, followed by Protestantism. There is also a decent sized Muslim minority as many of the Indonesian immigrants are Muslim.

Catholicism is a Christian religion that is one of the first Christian religions (founded after the death of Jesus in about 30-33 AD). Catholicism believes that there is a single God who created everything, a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ who is the forgiver of sins, and there is the Holy Spirit, which makes up the last part of the Holy Trinity. Catholics follow the teachings of the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments. Much of the faith is based on the life and teachings of Jesus, which is found in the gospels (in the New Testament).

Protestantism is a general term referring to nearly every Christian religion that is not Catholic or Orthodox. Like all Christian faiths, Protestants believe there is one God and that His son, Jesus is the savior and forgiver of sins. Protestants also believe that the Bible, which includes the Old and New Testaments, is the only true word of God. Due to this reliance on the Bible, nearly every protestant faith, and even individual, may interpret the Bible differently, which has led to a huge number of Protestant churches.

This page was last updated: May, 2014