Less than half of Britons expected to tick ‘Christian’ in UK census

Mar 21, 2021 by

by Harriet Sherwood, Guardian:

Snapshot of Britain will see many reject church as immoral or irrelevant, academics predict.

The “post-Christian era” in the UK will be cemented by data emerging from Sunday’s census which is expected to show further generational disengagement from organised religion, according to a leading academic.

The once-a-decade snapshot of the country has included a voluntary question about religion since 2001. In 2011, returns across England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland showed 59.3% ticking Christianity, a fall from 71.6% a decade earlier.

Abby Day, professor of race, faith and culture at Goldsmiths, University of London, expects this year’s census to show a further erosion in Christian identity, mainly because postwar generations regard the church as irrelevant and immoral.

Day predicted the proportion of people ticking Christianity “could drop below 50%”. Peter Brierley, an expert on religion statistics, said he predicted 48% or 49% identifying as Christian, but David Voas, head of the social sciences department at University College London, said he would be surprised if the figure fell below 50%.

According to Day, further decline was largely due to baby boomers – people born between 1946 and 1964 – raising their children outside the institutions of religion.

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