Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Islam and Agnosticism Surging in Britain as Christianity Fades

What world has Rowan Williams been living in?  Christianity is not "fading away" in Britain, he says.  Well, actually, yes it is, as the census figures clearly illustrate.

Since the last census in 2001, the number of Britons identifying themselves, however loosely, as Christians is down 13 percentage points to 59 per cent.

The number of respondents who say they have no religious faith is up 10 points to 25 per cent.  Meanwhile, staggeringly, the Muslim population has grown from 1.55 million to 2.7 million, an increase of 1.15 million from 2001 to 2011.

The surge in Islamic belief is entirely a consequence of immigration.  The spread of agnosticism and atheism that is occurring among Britian's youth is largely generational.

As we seek to spread the Gospel, this is the reality we are up against in Britain (and, increasingly, elsewhere): the default position of people born since 1980 is agnosticism or atheism.  Friends of mine in England tell me that, in past generations, people of little or no faith would probably have checked the "CofE" (Church of England) box in the census.  This means that, as current and future generations are being more candid about their unbelief, statistics for the Church of England will probably take the biggest hit in years to come.

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