Christian worship plummets in Britain as Muslim following rockets by 72 per...

Christian worship plummets in Britain as Muslim following rockets by 72 per cent

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A GOVERNMENT report has revealed that Christianity is on the wane in Britain dropping to record lows while the number of those following the Muslim faith has rocketed by 72 per cent.

And the decline in Christianity has fallen from 40.2million down to 36.1m with further declines projected.

Christianity is still the largest faith group in the UK by a significant margin but those falling away from the church are increasing in numbers and more has to be done by faith leaders to prevent further decline, says the report.

The Casey Review published earlier this month shows that Islam is now the largest non-Christian religious population in the UK.

Meanwhile a separate report published by the Brierley Consultancy says UK Church membership has declined from 10.6m in 1930 to 5.5m in 2010.

The first mosque in Britain, called the The Shah Jahan Mosque, was built in Woking, England in 1889 and there are now an estimated 1,750 in the UK.

Meanwhile Christianity in Britain is largely associated with the mission of Augustine in 597 AD however it is thought to have arrived as far back as the 1st Century AD.

The Casey Review report states: “Faith leadership has not to date been strong enough to counter the vocal minority who are bringing religion into disrepute and influencing the attitudes of people who increasingly regard religion as a force for bad.

“But there has been a significant shift in the religious landscape of the nation, with a reducing number identifying themselves as Christian, more people saying they hold no religion and more diverse and growing minority faith populations, of which Muslims are the most prominent.

Those following the Muslim religion have increased by 72 per cent  Those following the Muslim religion have increased by 72 per cent

“This increase in the diversity of faiths and beliefs in the UK has increased the visibility of tensions between religious groups and the presence of more visible signs of religion, for example in the growth of mosques, and led to increased anxiety – which has not been sufficiently acknowledged or discussed.

“We remain predominantly religious, with nearly seven out of 10 of us belonging to a religion.

“Christians remain a majority, while a quarter of the population holds no religion. But the proportion of Christians fell from 70 per cent to 59 per cent, while the proportion holding no religion grew from 17 per cent to 26 per cent.

“The number of people belonging to the other main religions grew, with the exception of the Jewish population which remained around the same size.

Christianity is dropping each year in the United KingdomChristianity is dropping each year in the United Kingdom

“Among faith groups the number of people identifying themselves as Muslim grew most significantly, by 1.2m people.

“This 72 per cent increase is higher than for any other religious group and Muslims make up the largest non-Christian religious population in the UK at 2.8m in total, compared with 0.8m Hindus, 0.4m Sikhs, 0.3m Jews and 0.3m Buddhists.”

While the Brierley Consultancy report says: “The UK Church membership has declined from 10.6m in 1930 to 5.5m in 2010, or as a percentage of the population; from about 30 per cent to 11.2 per cent.

“By 2013, this had declined further to 5.4mn (10.3 per cent). If current trends continue, membership will fall to 8.4 per cent of the population by 2025.

“In England, membership is forecast to decline to 2.53m (4.3 per cent of the population) by 2025.”

However the Church of England says that they have launched a new initiative to encourage people to follow the faith.

A spokesman said: “Christianity remains the largest religion in England with 31.5 million people, 59.4 per cent of the population, self-identifying as Christians.

“These results confirm that we remain a faithful nation. England remains a country where the majority of the nation actively identifies the role that faith plays in their life. Clearly we welcome the fact that Christianity remains the most populous faith in England – with six in ten people identifying themselves as Christian. When all faiths are taken together people of faith account for almost two thirds of the nation – two in every three people identify themselves as having a faith.

“The work of the Church of England is not limited to those who declare Christian affiliation. As a Church we continue to serve people of all faiths and none, in parishes, schools, community projects and through the 23.2m hours voluntary work that churchgoers contribute outside their local church to the local community.

“During the past decade alone the CofE has baptised an average of 2,500 people a week – with a 40 per cent increase in adult baptisms – conducted more than 100 weddings a week, celebrated the ordination of more than 5,000 new priests and maintained more than 16,000 parish church buildings. While 253 churches closed over the past decade, 1,000 new congregations were started through the Fresh Expressions initiative.”