Census: Christians a minority in England; non-religious grow

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 Fewer than half the people in England and Wales consider themselves Christian, according to the most recent census — the first time a minority of the population has followed the country’s official religion.

Britain has become less religious — and less white — in the decade since the last census, figures from the 2021 census released Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics revealed.

“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

FILE - The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby listens to debate at the General Synod in London, on Feb. 13, 2017. Less than half of people in England and Wales consider themselves Christian, according to the most recent census – the first time the country's official religion has been followed by a minority of the population. Figures from the 2021 census released Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, by the Office for National Statistics reveal that Britain has become less religious, and less white, in the decade since the last census in 2011. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Some 46.2% of the population of England and Wales described themselves as Christian on the day of the 2021 census, down from 59.3% a decade earlier. The Muslim population grew from 4.9% to 6.5% of the total, while 1.7% identified as Hindu, up from 1.5%.

More than 1 in 3 people — 37% — said they had no religion, up from 25% in 2011.

The other parts of the U.K., Scotland and Northern Ireland, report their census results separately.

Secularism campaigners said the shift should trigger a rethink of the way religion is entrenched in British society. The U.K. has state-funded Church of England schools, Anglican bishops sit in Parliament’s upper chamber, and the monarch is “defender of the faith” and supreme governor of the church.

Andrew Copson, chief executive of the charity Humanists U.K., said “the dramatic growth of the non-religious” had made the U.K. “almost certainly one of the least religious countries on Earth.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. As usual government statistics are shallow and misleading. They state as a fact that which is quite unproven and in this case cannot be proven.

    It is a well established fact in Britain, so very many migrant families do not register on the census for fear of being found. Therefore Muslim, Hindu and other Asian religious groups are under represented.

    In respect of the Christian figure I would expect 46.2% identifying as Christian is a distorted figure. If we apply the definition as a heart faith in Jesus Christ resulting from new birth and pressing on into Him, (that’s a wide description I know) then the numbers are very much smaller. The Church of England regards it’s signed up members as Christian! By the same token Pentecostal churches no longer require one to be Baptised in the Spirit to be a member, just come and pack out the numbers. Yet these ‘members,’ while not born again Christians identify as such.

    OK, so my points may be very wide of the mark too, but the point is made. For so many reasons we cannot know the answer, and perhaps we should not know.

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