England and Wales now minority Christian countries, census reveals

  1. Most Christians in England aren't practicing (don't go to church regularly); instead they are "cultural Christians" which generally means they'll go to church on Christmas, they'll get their children baptised, and might to go a service on Remembrance Sunday. They might not even believe in God, but as they were raised in a Christian household they still identify enough with the church to tick Christian on the census.

  2. Had a former co worker who would spout religious ideals at every chance she got, every conversation every argument always ended with Jesus, any losing battle was met with Jesus, "in the name of Jesus".

  3. There's a decent amount of this sentiment in parts of the United States as well, especially in my home region of the Northeast. In my experience as a (very) lapsed Catholic who grew up in suburban New Jersey, it feels like in this part of the country you can feel the subtle historic influence of Catholicism on the culture a lot of places in the northeast, especially when it comes to local private schools/charities/community groups and institutions, but its very subdued and not necessarily overtly "religious" if that makes any sense. (Ex: people sending their kids to private Catholic schools because they might be better than the local public schools, but the Catholic schools themselves not really having a ton of overt religious practices beyond maybe a morning prayer and a required theology-type elective class)

  4. In Scotland will find that a lot of churches have closed and have been revamped as completely different premises. There are a number of pubs which are sited within former churches.

  5. What do you think about this vaunted but rather small orthodox Anglican revival among younger folks. I see a fair amount of noise about Gen-Z/young millennials starting to get “back into” Anglicanism in a way that, paradoxically, is both more conservative (affirming the virgin birth, saying the creeds without crossing their fingers) and more accepting (LGBTQ acceptance, carding less than ever about ordination or women)?

  6. There is so much resistance in the US to the idea of “cultural Christianity”. So many folks just conflate it with default American culture. Is it like that in the UK?

  7. As a Brit who was raised just like this (other than a short stint in the choir) I will happily still go to church on Christmas and might even christen my kids but would never mark myself down as Christian

  8. Australia too joined this club as of our last census. Earlier this year? Last year? Can't remember. But we dropped HARD from something like 52% to 44% in only five years.

  9. The younger generations now have something the older generations didn’t. A choice to be non religious or atheist and not be ridiculed for it.

  10. A lot of this would be attributed to the Royal Commission Into Sex Abuse and the charges laid against Cardinal George Pell . The churches in Australia have had 5 years of very bad press.

  11. You need a new form of Christianity that focuses on the teachings of Jesus about hating minorities and deregulating business. It is doing amazing numbers over here in the states. Killing most of society but still you gotta respect the hustle.

  12. This would be a case of atheism. Or more accurately a case of Christians admitting that they don't actually believe in it.

  13. Well our population goes up by about half a million immigrants a year. Our policy of who we let in is still very selective but not as racist anymore so non-christians have a hope of getting in if they want it enough, and are willing to go through all the bullshit. The UK is still the biggest single (4) country(s) that has people move here from, and if they are less christian than it makes sense that that the younger less religious in general people who do move would move our numbers a lot as well.

  14. The majority of people I've met who claim to be Christian in the UK claim it because it's the "British" thing to do for some generations. The only time most of them have been in churches have been weddings and christenings..

  15. My mother would say she is a Catholic, but she couldn't tell you the name of the Pope, and if you asked her if she believed in God, she would tell you she doesn't. The only vaguely Catholic rite she follows is not eating meat on Good Friday.

  16. They made the same person symbolic head of state and head of church. All the potentially unchecked arbitrary powers of religion and authority packed away in the same pretty box that comes out to decorate the table for special occasions.

  17. Try having to go because you need to in order to get your kid into a decent school. The entire congregation is made up of parents who are there in person but all we are there for is to get an attendance form signed.

  18. England has been a highly secular country for pretty much all my 33 years. It's actually quite jarring when you go to the US and people are more religious.

  19. It really depends on where you are. Growing up in DC, religion wasn't really much of a thing and the really religious kids often actually got shit for it in my school. Living in TN as an adult however, oh boy was it different. Now in NM, the majority of the population are Mexican immigrants and their children/grandchildren/etc or descendants of the Spanish, so basically everyone is Catholic. That said, they don't push it on everyone and expect them to believe in all the same shit they do like the evangelicals in TN.

  20. Plus the overwhelming majority of Christians in Britain are pretty live and let live kind of people. Fundamentalists are such a tiny minority of British Christians.

  21. Same, I moved to the USA and it's weird going from the default being non-religious to the default being religious. I don't think I actually met any religious guys apart from some Pakistani friends at uni.

  22. It's kinda interesting that technically speaking the US is the one with secularism written into it's constitution, whilst the UK is a constitutional monarchy with the head of state being the head of church, yet the level of religiosity is reversed.

  23. Even watching inauguration speeches, hearing how often God is mentioned. Also alarming that some politicians seem to want even more religion intergrated with politics and society.

  24. One of the key reason why so many from the British islands migrated to the colony now known as the USA was because of religious prosecutions (as in not having the freedom to practice their religious beliefs enough). The country was (in the eyes of europeans) founded by religious fundamentalists.

  25. My colleagues are all American. Weird when they say god bless. Or mention going to church. Had one ask me what churches are like here. I replied old and cold.

  26. Attendance at Catholic Churches has been going down for years and most denominations are struggling to keep the pews dust-free.

  27. As a Brit, I can tell you that the real percentage is like 20%. Identifying as Christian is just a default. Ask this group if they truly believe in key aspects of the religion: virgin birth, existence of heaven/hell etc - most will answer no.

  28. It wouldn't surprise me if the majority of churchgoers here are from other countries. Many of the most serious Christians in the UK seem to be from Africa, Asia and the Americas in my experience.

  29. Can you please help teach us Americans your ways? I am tired of being beholden to the vocal christian hypocrites.

  30. A good example of that phenomenon can be found in Canada. One of our most religous provinces, according to surveys, is quebec, but in practice it's the least religious province in the country, where feminism had the greatest cultural acceptance out of anywhere in the country, common law marriages often outnumber traditional marriages, where strip clubs and the gay village are on the main street of Montreal and basically nobody gets upset about it, and their laws are militantly secular. But ask quebecers and they'll say they're religious because they're historically catholic.

  31. I mean, I’d suggest that you put a priority on the ‘not hereditary’ aspect. The UK was an accident of birth order away from King Andrew.

  32. “You already have your godless society, just read the stories here in the DM. Get ready for judgement day, the Bible prophesied exactly what's happening now and it's going to get much worse. You have 2 options, Jesus or Satan.”

  33. A Daily Mail comment section is one of the most vile, cancerous places on the internet. What do you expect from a newspaper that supported the Nazis and labelled judges who ensured the law was followed as enemies of the people.

  34. I mean what did you expect? Just try not to remember that all those people's votes count just as much yours.....

  35. Went to look myself (mistakes were made) most saying things like “sad times” seem to be from the US for what it’s worth. UK seem to be saying religion is a waste of time

  36. Might be worth distinguishing how people depict themselves from actual religious practice? Christian practice is reaching record lows. I would guess Islam has probably a larger regular following?

  37. It's also kinda rich to describe a religion as a minority when it's the official religion of the entire country and is woven into constitutional law at every step.

  38. This article was written in a way to purposely confuse the reader. If you aren’t paying attention you might think there are more Muslims or non religious than Christians.

  39. Actually there were some good information campaigns recently in noting that stating “other” on a census or something amusing like “Jedism” resulted in budget maintenance for organised religion. A lot more people were voting “no religion” as a result…. Or at least I like to think so.

  40. Honestly, as an outsider, the Church of England couldn't be a more obvious example of how religion is pretty much completely about power and control: when the Church refused to kneel, Henry VIII broke its legs.

  41. A large portion of people are claiming to be Christian when they only kind of are, and a bunch of people who would previously definitely call themselves Christian are now socially allowed to say they just are not religious. Some of the people saying they are Muslim are also just saying it and are not actually particularly religious.

  42. I agree. I'm a Muslim and you're more likely to find a Muslim who doesn't pray the 5 daily prayers more than a Muslim who does. Although many more Muslims attend the weekly prayer at the mosque than Christians attend the Sunday prayers at the church.

  43. When I was a Sea Cadet (didn't last very long) I was asked by one of the people that ran it what religion I was for a form. I told them none, and they wrote down C of E. I asked my mum what C of E meant and told her what happened and she went down and told them off the following week.

  44. I totally agree. You can't get away from Christian bullshit, so Christianity is just the supposed default. I truly believe this is why we're getting such shocking numbers on those, "Is the US a Christian Nation?" polls. They see it as the default, so they think, "Hey, that sounds nice!" Having no clue what Christian Nationalism really is.

  45. Before people start freaking out, Christianity is still the most common religion, just it’s under 50% which is the criteria to be labeled a majority

  46. I've lived here my entire life and I'm surprised it has only just dropped to this level. In my experience, finding a religious person in all of the U.K., not just England and Wales, is rare. They're like Mercedes drivers who use the indicator in their car, it's not impossible to find one, but it's fucking hard.

  47. I think a lot of people still called themselves Christian even if they weren’t particularly religious. Their parents went to church and they celebrated all the Christian holidays. But as those people had kids, neither the parents or the children were ever church goers and it probably seemed a bit silly to identify as Christian on some demographics questionnaire. But I don’t think it was a big change or shift, it’s just a gradual petering out of how people self identify.

  48. Clement Atlee, prime minister from 1945-51, was openly nonreligious and often makes lists of best PMs of all time. Nonreligion has not historically been much of a political barrier in the UK. The UK, however, does not have a separation of church and state, as the state religion (c of e) is funded by the taxpayer and many of what Americans would call public schools are run by the Church.

  49. They say in the US to run for office you have to find religion and in the UK you have to hide your religion. Turns out Tony Blair is pretty religious but he never mentioned it when he was campaigning as it massively affects the UK's public perception of someone.

  50. The UK is very different in this. A politician who spoke a lot of religious stuff would be considered a crack job and unelectable. The only public figure that got away with talking about God was the Queen. Even the new King hasn't mentioned anything other than he has said he wants to be seen as a positive in all religions. And he is head of the Church of England!

  51. Just for those that aren't aware of our particular national weirdnesses: England and Wales has been majority non-believer for a long time. It's just that there's a fairly large population who describe themselves as (a) being Christian, and (b) not believing in any God, without seeing any contradiction between the two statements.

  52. They may not have a majority, but according to this census, more people identify their religion as Christian than any other religion including non-religious.

  53. My favorite religion is the one that starts with a guy looking into a magical tophat and another guy writing down everything the guy with is face in a tophat says.

  54. Good thing we have political parties to fill the void and provide tried and tested battle grounds for us to continue hating each other

  55. Excellent, the sooner we shake off hundreds of years of nonsense the sooner we can make more improvements to people’s lives.

  56. Something isn't adding up (link below). If Christianity is in the minority, it doesn't mean another group has superceded it as I'd initially thought. It just means there are more athiests/agnostics (in addition to minority religions) and collectively they supercede Christians in the country.

  57. I don't follow this; aren't they still plurality Christian? I don't see anything that is a higher category for the chart.

  58. Did anyone else find the structure of the article somewhat annoying? The way they begin with the 44% rise in Islam, on my initial cursory reading, made me think it was a much bigger part of the story than it actually is.

  59. Indeed. One thing I appreciate now as a Brit who went to school in the UK and who’s taught in multiple countries over his life, is that British education does typically have critical thinking skills as a fundamental back bone. That cannot be said everywhere.

  60. The church itself is helping. We had a mandatory church service near the end of every year in primary school; the sheer boredom and tedium I experienced there put me off religion at a very young age.

  61. You know, leading with the slight uptick in Muslims while the massive leap in "no religion" is mentioned second is pretty blatant editorializing.

  62. Just wait until they publish the Scotland census results next year... I'm expecting a huge fall in the number of people identifying as religious.

  63. The census is lagging behind reality. People have been lying about religious affiliation for decades for whatever reason. Most people ticking that box on the census do not participate in their alleged religion. They do not attend church they do not take part in any of the religion. Their entire religious life is the little tick mark on a box on a census form.

  64. That’s a weirdly toned article. It focuses much of the discussion on increasing ethnic and religious diversity and yet the stats clearly show the main driver is the growth of no religion. Yes there’s been a small growth in Islam, but it pales when compared to the growth of no religion.

  65. It talks about this tiny Islam jump but look that the 'non-religious' category. That's huge. They might actually be the minority majority in the next 15 years.

  66. I see lots of pundits and others predicting that the US will eventually become the same non-Christian majority. Would like to see it happen (since we’ve got a lot of Bible thumpers here), but those people haven’t been to Georgia, Utah, Texas, or basically any other religious state. Would love to see it happen, but sadly it will never happen

  67. The only people who I know are religious are old folks, I would even think eventually other religions will fold as 4th generation immigrants grow up.

  68. Considering most English Christians are of the denomination ‘Church of England’ is it a shock really? whole sect was cobbled together because so some fat Tudor cunt could fuck off his wife without the pope giving him shit 😂👌🏻 hardly a coercive religious hill to die on is it hahaha

  69. I wouldn’t care at all about religious populations if they stopped forcing their agenda into government politics. My parents are catholic, work with a ton of charities, volunteer constantly, but are also liberal progressives who fight for change in their hardcore Christian community. My mom would never get an abortion but will fight like hell to try to protect your right to access one. It makes me sad that there aren’t more “Christians” like this in the USA.

  70. I think it's important to remember that just because Christians are a minority doesn't mean any other single religious group is a majority. Christians are still the largest single religious group by a good margin. The second largest group is "no religion" which means they aren't necessarily cohesive, so it's still a huge number of Christians, followed by a tiny smattering of other religeous groups, and then a good chunk that don't really care.

  71. Sadly Islam is on the rise, true secularism will not be achieved for many years, if at all. I suspect Islam will grow to at least 10% of the population within our lifetime. Humanity cannot progress with regressive archaic theologies.

  72. It said a “44% rise in the number of people following Islam”, which is just awful journalism when all the other percentages refer to the population as a whole. The Guardian didn’t feel the need to clarify what percentage of the population of England and Wales actually follow Islam, but you can look it up and it’s 6.5%, up from 4.9% in 2011.

  73. Also in news. southern ministers planning sermons around how all of england/wales woes are due to a lack of christianity in the country and how to gain gods favor again they need to get back to the basics of low taxes on the wealthy, banning abortion, and, if there is time, worshipping god.

  74. Even The Guardian can't help but fearmonger. Number of people identifying as non-religious went way up but nope, the real story is Muslims going up by a couple percentage points.

  75. More like 100 years behind. Mainstream European politicians don’t talk about god anymore. And it’s still seen as a valid argument in your country when people say things like “the Bible said”.

  76. I think Christianity is projected to become a minority religion in the US within "a few decades". Whether that's 2050s or 2070s depends on the particular study.

  77. Unfortunately, America is the result of religious people getting chased out these countries because they where so insufferable to deal with, even by the standards of the time.

  78. Biggest brain washing scam against humanity. Stealing trillions of dollars by preying on people's weakness of believing in a heaven or hell, god or satan. Beyond disgusting. Religion should be banned and treated as the scam cult it is.

  79. Love this! Nice to see Ireland moving away from the religionist shite, as well. The future looks brighter, in these regards…

  80. This should be a lesson for anyone who is interested in having a religion lead government. Your religion doesn’t always hold the majority! You open that door and next thing you know, a non Christian majority may take over. What will you do then? Cry about religion and government mixing? The time to fight that fight is now!! The only wall we need to worry about right now is the one between our government and religion.

  81. Am I the only one who noticed that for Islam and 'no religion' they both describe the percent changes and give you an absolute number, but you never get the absolute number of people who consider themselves Christians?

  82. I’m sure churches everywhere will have a sermon series dedicated to this article through the rest of the year.

  83. As someone in the states I can only wish America follows suit quicker than already predicted. The amount of bullshit coming out of the church these days honestly seems like the thrashing death knell of a dying cult.

  84. A similar thing happened to the Benelux countries, the Czech republic, and soon to be Germany. Europe's secularization is coming along at an expected pace.

  85. The census revealed a 5.5 million drop in the number of Christians and a 1.2 million rise in the number of people following Islam, bringing the Muslim population to 3.9 million. The changes equate to a 17% fall in the number of Christians and a 44% increase in the number of Muslims. It is the first time in a census of England and Wales that fewer than half of the population have described themselves as Christian.

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