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Christianity Christians 'Less Devout' Than Muslims In Britain


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
By Martin Beckford 1:18PM GMT 27 Jan 2011

Just one in three churchgoers “actively practises” their faith compared with more than two-thirds of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists.

Christians are also less likely to say that their beliefs influence their everyday life, although they do affect the school to which they send their children.

The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday, provide more evidence that Britain remains a Christian country but most of its residents do not feel the need to attend church regularly and prefer to keep their beliefs private.

A new chapter of the ONS report Social Trends states that 82 per cent of adults in England and Wales said they followed a religion in 2009/09, with 72 per cent of these (equivalent to 32.4million people) calling themselves Christian.

The next largest groups were Muslims (4 per cent, or 1.8m), Hindus (2 per cent, or 0.9m) and Sikh or Buddhist (1 per cent each, or 0.45m).

However just 32 per cent of Christians said they “actively practised” their religion, in a Department for Communities and Local Government survey analysed by the ONS.

“In contrast, 80 per cent of Muslims actively practised their religion, the highest proportion of those with a religion.”

In addition, 70 per cent of Hindus, 66 per cent of Sikhs and Buddhists and 51 per cent of followers of other religions described themselves as devout.

The vast majority (94 per cent) felt they were able to practise their religion freely in Britain, while fewer (52 per cent) thought religious prejudice was on the rise compared with when the same question was asked the previous year (62 per cent).

Most respondents to the DCLG survey said their faith did not have much of an influence on practical life choices.

But 30 per cent of Christians said their religion influenced their choice of school, compared with 21 per cent of Muslims, 17 per cent of Sikhs and 15 per cent of Hindus. This could be down to the fact that schools run by the Church of England or Roman Catholic Church record better results than non-faith schools and often have strict admissions criteria.

Christians were less likely to say that their religion influenced where they live, where they worked or who their friends are than other worshippers.




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