Is Christianity declining in UK, US?

Is Christianity declining in UK, US?

Over the years it was believed that Christianity was on the wane in Britain, but now the fear has been proven correct. Figures from the 2021 Census published by the Office for National Statistics, released on November 29, show that for the first time, less than half the population of England and Wales consider themselves Christian.

Their number fell by 17 percent to 27.5 million within a decade. The number of people ticking the “no religion” box rose 57 percent to 22.2 million. Although some may say Britain is now becoming more secular, others also point out that some other religions are growing at the expense of Christianity.

In contrast, the annual British Social Attitudes Survey in 2020 found that 53 per cent of British adults are non-religious, with just 37 per cent Christian. Separately, a survey commissioned by Humanists UK in 2019 showed that 29 per cent of British adults share all of the core humanist beliefs and values, indicating the widespread shift in popular values, opinions and identities that the UK is undergoing in the past decade has gone through the 21st century.

The census showed that the number of Muslims increased by 42 percent; they now make up 7 per cent of the UK population. British Hindus break the million mark for the first time. These changes also reflect major demographic shifts. One in six people who completed the census was born abroad, compared with one in ten a decade ago.

Three cities are “majority-minority”: Birmingham (51.4 percent), Leicester (59.1 percent) and Luton (54.8 percent), ie Christians have become a minority in these cities.

The Economist magazine says some right-wingers are lamenting the revelation that Christianity is now a minority religion. But will crossing that symbolic threshold actually make a difference? It could influence discussions about government funding for faith schools. Most are still Christian, fearing that non-Christian faith schools could exacerbate ethnic segregation: Hindu schools, for example, are typically attended only by children of immigrants from South Asian countries.

There’s another worrying thought: if immigration keeps increasing, secularization will slow. Since immigrants are believed to tend to enliven all religions; that is the main reason why church attendance has held up better in London than in other places.

Meanwhile, the Labor Party proposes to abolish the House of Lords, the bishops and everyone else. However, the most distinctive element of the British form of theocracy is more likely to adapt than disappear. Although he promised in September “to uphold and preserve the establishment of the true Protestant religion inviolable,” King Charles III seems reluctant to do so. also to be attracted to the practices of other believers. At his coronation in May next year, he could try to present himself as a defender of all faiths. It helps that he’s king alongside a Hindu prime minister and a Muslim mayor of London, says The Economist.

ONS figures also showed that the majority of Muslims live in the most deprived areas of England and Wales. Muslims now make up 7 per cent of the population in England and Wales, around 3.9 million in 2021 but data showed 61 per cent of them live in the bottom 40 per cent of areas ranked by deprivation score, The Guardianhas reported.

In addition, immigration has always been a key driver of British politics and ‘whites’ believe that immigration is responsible for changing the nature and character of the UK. Brexit was voted on as a direct result of that fear, along with the economic woes it brought.

Meanwhile, a growing number of religious and political leaders in the US are embracing the label of “Christian nationalist,” and some dispute the idea that the country’s founders wanted a separation of church and state. On the other side of the debate, however, many Americans — including leaders of many Christian churches — have opposed Christian nationalism, calling it a “danger” to the country.

More than four in 10 American adults say the country should be a “Christian nation,” according to a report released Oct. 27 by the Pew Research Center, but far fewer want churches to support candidates and comment on politics.

Most US adults believe that America’s founders intended the country to be a Christian nation, and many say they should be a Christian nation today, according to the poll designed to gather Americans’ views on this topic to investigate. But the poll also finds very different opinions about what it means to be a “Christian nation” and to support “Christian nationalism.”

For example, many proponents of Christian nationality define the concept broadly as the idea that the country is guided by Christian values. On the other hand, those who say the US should not be a Christian nation are much more inclined to define a Christian nation as one in which the laws explicitly enshrine religious doctrines.

Overall, six out of 10 adults in the US — including nearly seven out of 10 Christians — say they believe the founders “originally intended” the US to be a Christian nation. And 45 percent of US adults — including about six in 10 Christians — say they think the country “should” be a Christian nation. A third says the US “is now” a Christian nation.

This juxtaposition of results makes us wonder if the western world is genuinely trying to abandon Christianity as the state religion, or to distract itself from current Indian politics, if it will reassert itself and re-establish itself as the leading Christian nations must be looking at. If it also sounds like the death knell of a secular state, you have to see.

(Asad Mirza is a political

Commentator based in New Delhi)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *