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Posted by on Dec 6, 2022 in Blog, Essays | 0 comments

Nones Grow, Christianity Declines in England




Christianity’s Retreat from England

For the first time in almost 1500 years, England is no longer majority Christian. Results of the 2021 census show the rapidity and geography of the retreat. What’s replacing Christianity? Not another religion, but “no religion.”



When I first saw the headline about religious belief in England, I was actually a little worried, fearing the decline of Christianity corresponded with a rise of other religions, namely Islam.

However, the biggest rise in self-identification is the category of “nones.” That is — *no* religion.

The numbers are remarkable, far beyond natural attrition. It means a large segment of the general population is openly ditching ancient superstition. This is a huge win for secularists — who now comprise 37 percent of Brits (I theorize it’s higher, but many people feel pressure to self-identify as “Christian” when polled and asked questions by a stranger).


A few highlights from the article:

— In the 2001 census, the first time people were asked about religion, 72 percent of people in England and Wales described themselves as “Christian.”
— In 2011, that share had dropped 12 percentage points to 59 percent.
— These latest figures show that the decline accelerating, now down to 46 percent. This is the biggest decline of any response to this question in the 2021 census.


As to the “nones:”

— The decline of Christianity is mirrored by the rise of “no religion.” In 2001, this was the chosen response of only 15 percent of people in England and Wales (7.7 million).
— By 2011, “no religion” was up to 25 percent (14.1 million).
— The latest figures put it at 37 percent (22.2 million), which is up another 12 percent overall. That’s the biggest increase of any response to this question in the 2021 national census.


We’ve seen religious trends in the United States according to Pew Research data, which shows similar patterns.  However, the decline/rise is not nearly as dramatic. While this is very encouraging news, it doesn’t mean these trends apply elsewhere. For instance, religion’s stranglehold and suffocation of society are becoming more common in many parts of Africa, and elsewhere.

So, while progress has been made and enlightenment is spreading, many parts of the world continue living under ominous myths and ancient fables.  Nonetheless, some societies are moving in a positive direction.

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