""The Demographic Characteristics of the Linguistic and Religious Groups in Switzerland," published in 2000 in a volume covering trends in several European nations. The numbers that trouble traditionalists came from a 1994 survey in which the Swiss government tried to determine how religious practices are carried down from generation to generation.
Apparently, if a father and mother were both faithful churchgoers, 33 percent of their children followed their example, with another 41 percent attending on an irregular basis and only a quarter shunning church altogether.
But what happened if the father had little or no faith? If the father was semi-active and the mother was a faithful worshipper, only 3 percent of their children became active church members and 59 percent were irregular in their worship attendance -- with the rest lost to the church altogether.
If the father never went to church, while the mother was faithful, only 2 percent of the children became regular churchgoers and 37 percent were semi-active. Thus, more than 60 percent were lost.
This trend continued in other survey results, noted Carrier. The bottom line was clear. If a father didn't go to church, only one child in 50 became a faithful churchgoer -- no matter how strong the mother's faith."
The Morning News, June 1, 2007
I found this terribly interesting. Especially combined with a tendency for men to be less religious.
The Morning News didn't mention what happened if the father attended church while the mother didn't, so I decided to Google a bit on the subject and found the remaining numbers:
"Surprisingly, if the father is a regular church attender the children's religious practice varied in an inverse relationship to their mothers' practice. If the mother was regular 33 per cent of children were regular. If she was an irregular attender then 38 per cent of children were regular. If the mother was non-practising then 44 per cent of children became regular attenders.
Even when the father is an irregular attender and the mother non- practising 25 per cent of the children were regular attenders and 23 per cent irregular attenders."
ad2000.com.au (Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 15 No 8 (September 2002), p. 8)