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Number of British Christians at a record low

A survey to gauge British Social Attitudes (BSA) has revealed that the number of Christian believers in the country are at a record low.

Published: July 12, 2019, 9:35 am

    More than half of Britons do not adhere to any faith while the numbers of Muslims are on the rise.

    The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), conducted the BSA survey of 2884 people in 2018 and found that there has been a “dramatic decline” of Christians over the past 35 years.

    In 2016, for the first time, 50 percent of the UK population claimed to have no religion, with that figure rising to 52 per cent in 2018. But the survey’s authors said faith was “likely to remain an important part of our national conversation”.

    In 1983, two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents identified as Christian, while in 2018 it was just over a third, or 38 percent. Only one percent of young adults said they were members of the Church of England (CoE).

    Christian Pentecostalism from West Africa and Islam were the only faiths that had more adherents. Islam grew from one percent in 1983, to three percent in 2008, to six percent in 2018.

    Also, the acceptance of gay sex has decreased for the first time since the 1980s AIDS crisis.

    In Birmingham, Muslim parents restarted protests at a primary school over same-sex relationships being taught at school.

    At Parkfield school Muslim parents said homosexuality was being promoted. Parents’ spokesman Jay Hussain said the school was “not respecting our religious beliefs”.

    Meanwhile “Anti-Christian sentiment” is on the rise in Britain, priests told government-funded study which that more than two thirds of members of the clergy had been verbally abused in the past two years.

    Also, one in ten CoE priests suffered physical violence over the past 24 months, with the same number of priests reporting they had noticed an increase in anti-Christian hate crimes.

    According to the study commissioned by National Churchwatch, researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London, found that half of the 546 members of the clergy said that their work had become “more challenging”.

    The threats were mainly directed against the clergymen personally, but at least 20 percent reported receiving threats against their family members while 35 percent said they had experienced threats against church property, reported the British daily the Telegraph.

    Jonathan Gabe, Professor of Sociology at Royal Holloway, said: “The clergy have a difficult job, especially when faced with the risk of violence, as documented in our survey.”

    The director of National Churchwatch, Nick Tolson, told the Telegraph that the CoE should do more to protect priests: “There’s still no organised training for clergy in dealing with violence or conflict management.”

    Three days before Christmas last year, a popular nativity scene was “destroyed by idiots” on Ilford’s High Road. The statues of Mary and Joseph were smashed, while the infant Jesus was decapitated local media in London reported.

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