A survey showed that there has been a ‘dramatic decline’ in Christianity in the UK in the last 35 years.
According to the British Social Attitudes report, 38% of respondents said they identify as Christians, this figure is 50% lower than the findings in 2008, and nearly two-thirds lower in 1983. More than half of the participants (52%) answered that they do not belong to any religion, reports Premier.
We are living in an era of rapid social change – but people are still searching for meaning and answers to life. —Church of England
The National Center for Social Research said in the report that, “We find a dramatic decline in identification with Christian denominations, particularly the Church of England, a substantial increase in atheism and in self- description as ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ non-religious…but tolerance of religious difference.”
Further, the findings showed that 50% of respondents said they never pray, a rate higher from 41% in 2008 and 30% in 1998. But, those who said they prayed “several times a day” went up to 8% in 2018 from 5% two decades ago.
In terms of church attendance, the data remained stable since 1998 wherein 11% of respondents said they attended a religious service at least once a week.
The report explained the drop in Christian population in the UK can be attributed to the level of religiosity among generations. The older, much religious Brits are being replaced by the younger, and less religious people.
Stephen Evans, chief executive of the National Secular Society, said the findings showed “the need for a serious rethink of the privileges granted to religion in Britain.” He believed that, “Britain’s constitutional settlement and public policies should catch up with the opinions of its population.”
In an interview with Yahoo News UK, Richy Thompson, director of Public Affairs at non-religion charity Humanists UK, said, “People see it is more morally accepted to not have a religion, before people thought it was less moral but people are just as likely to volunteer and do charity work.”
Despite the downward trend, the Church of England maintained that the church remains an integral part of Britain’s society. “We are living in an era of rapid social change – but people are still searching for meaning and answers to life.”