The Decline of Religion in the United Kingdom

Religion in the United Kingdom must be seen as a whole, for it has been dominated for over 1,400 years by Christianity. Study shows that 48.6 % of Londoners are of no religion, while Anglicans account for 17.1% of the British, Catholics 8.7% and non-Christian religions 8.4%. Among Christians, Anglicans, Catholics and Presbyterians are the most common denomination, which has led commentators to describe the UK as a secularized society.

However, more than half of United Kingdom population has no religion, according to a British Social Attitudes survey, with only 3% of Anglican adults under 24, so it’s no surprise that the London churches remain empty some of the time. The United Kingdom as a whole hasn’t got an official religion, but the Monarch of the United Kingdom is the Supreme Governor of the Church. A marked growth in “nonverts” (people who identify as having no religion, although they were originally brought up mainly as Christians) may be seen.


The Church of England is facing acceleration towards a secular society, with more than half the population having no religion or religious affiliation, according to the British Social Attitudes. Nones formed a majority of the adult British population starting with 2009, but recently the growth of no religion seems to have stalled in the past few years. Almost three out of four youngsters claim they have no religion, and the presence of young European workers may be a factor in the high proportion.


The research also shows that the least religious areas are the south-east of England and Wales, typically with young and male population. Non-Christian religions have not seen such decay however, having a high “nonversion”, and neither have Jews, Muslims or Hindus. The fall in religious affiliation is demonstrated by the mere nine percent of adults who identify as Catholics, while 6% say they belong to non-Christian religions.


Catholics had stayed steady, but immigration has contributed to regional variations in inner London. Despite the rapidly shrinking proportion, the church continues to enjoy a privileged status, continuing its resistance to same-sex marriage that has alienated almost an entire generation. The rise of the non-religious is the story of history, which has painted a picture of a Christianity that has seen a decline.


C of E leaders are aware of the risk warned by the numbers of attendants and have embarked on a reform program designed to increase by 50% the number of priests per year. The proportions of the non-religious who convert to a faith are very small, following thus a long-term pattern. However, the church leaders say that the relevant thing in this modern world is that people are more honest and keen on opening their minds to God.


Mostly white younger men identify as non-religious and are likely to reject organized religion, thus we are able to identify a generational shift in religious affiliation. Roger Harding said the latest figures shows “more and more of us not being religious” and that with “many younger people not having a religion, it’s hard to see this change abating any time soon”.

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