OK, the big day has finally arrived.
The UK Census data on religion has just been released and I’m following initial reactions on Twitter.
The statistical bulletin can be found here.
I’m going to pop off and have a good look and I will be updating here with links and analysis. In the meantime, the predominate Tweet in reaction to the data is:
Number of people identifying as Christian down from 72% to 59% number with ‘no religion’ up from 15% to 25%
Unsurprisingly, the British Humanists are first out of the blocks to comment and you can feel the glee..
Following is a video from the ONS on the religious data (Hat-tip Connexion)
Theos have issued a release entitled: Britain is neither Christian nor secular, but religiously plural
Opinionated Vicar blogs on the ‘Religion Question’.
More glee, this time from the National Secular Society.
Damian Thompson over on the Telegraph: Christianity is fading away in Britain as Islam surges and agnosticism spreads.
Francis Sedgemore comments: Irreligion emerges from the shadows.
Tom Chivers (Telegraph) with an interesting comment:
It’s tempting, as an atheist and rationalist, to crow about these figures: to shout something about the slow death of magical thinking, or the rise of reason. But it’s probably worth someone in the non-God camp to point out that it’s not a universally good thing, that as with almost everything it’s a complex picture.
Church of England respond and you have to love the concluding paragraph:
Doubtless, campaigning atheist organisations will attempt to minimise the significance of the majority figures for faith and Christianity. In fact, these figures draw attention to the free ride that had been given to these bodies whose total membership would barely fill half of Old Trafford. For instance there are an estimated 28,000 members of British Humanist Association – the same membership as Union of Catholic Mothers, whilst the National Secular Society has an estimated 5,000 – the same as the British Sausage Appreciation Society.
Law and Religion UK with an intriguing comment from Frank Cranmer:
As in the 2001 Census I declared myself as “other” on the grounds that it was the description that best fitted me as a Quaker of the Unitarian/Universalist tendency. I guess not everyone is as literal-minded as I am: but it does raise the question about definitions and what the labels actually mean.
I don’t see how someone like me, who firmly rejects the doctrine of the Trinity as a solution still seeking a problem, can describe himself or herself as a “Christian”: equally, I’m sure that a lot of those who did so would be barely able to distinguish Shrove Tuesday from Sheffield Wednesday.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker on the decline of the Church in Britain.
Ian Birrell – Evening standard: We have nothing to fear from our Muslim citizens.
News Thump (Satirical): Countdown underway till first religious leader blames country’s ills on fall in Christianity
Cristina Odone (Telegraph): 2011 census shock revelation: Christianity is still the majority religion, and Britain is still a God-fearing country
Catholic Church in England and Wales rather brief response.
Guardian looks at ‘other religions’: Census 2011: how many Jedi Knights are there in England & Wales?
Nelson Jones – NewStatesman: No longer the default religion: is being a Christian now a political statement?
British Religion in Numbers (BRIN): Religious Census 2011 – England and Wales
BRIN: Religious Census 2011 – Initial Responses
BRIN: Religious Census 2011 – What happened to the Christians?