The name “Netherlands” means “Low Lands” in reference to the nation’s topography as an alluvial plain. The Netherlands is also a relatively small country without surface water.
The English word “Dutch” referred originally to both Germany and the Netherlands but came to be restricted to the people and language of the Netherlands. “Holland” and “the Netherlands” often are used as synonyms even though “Holland” refers only to the provinces North and South Holland.
The largest religious congregation in the Netherlands is Catholic (30%), followed by Reformed Protestant (14%), Dutch Reformed (7%t) and Muslim (4%). More striking, however, is the fact that 40 percent of the population are not religious or connected to a denomination.
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