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European Journal

The Netherlands: Life in the Bible Belt

Staphorst in the Netherlands is the heartland of Dutch Calvinists. Their principles have barely changed in centuries.

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Over 500,000 devout Christians live in what's known as the Dutch Bible Belt, which extends from the south of the country to Ijsselmeer in the north. In towns like Staphorst, the Calvinists lead lives of strict religious piety. But increasingly, these Orthodox Christians are upsetting their more liberal neighbors.