London: New census data for last 10 years has been released in UK and it has some new facts as per the government ONS website:
-Islam is the fastest growing religion in UK
-Islam is the second largest religion after Christianity
-Indians are the largest ethnic minority
-Christianity declines from 71% to 59%
The census is held every 10 years in UK and the latest was conducted
in 2011, whose results were made public a month ago. The facts are based
on how people identify themselves in terms of religion and racial
ethnicity. Although it is contested that not everyone may be what they
identify themselves as especially when it comes to racial ethnicity.
The census was based on 56.07 million people, and 33.7 million people
identified them as Christians, whereas the number of self-identifying
Muslims rose to 2.7 million, that is a rise from 3% to 4.8% of the
population in last 10 years.
The Muslim Council of Britain has welcomed the result, saying Muslims
were playing “a significant part in the increasing diversity of
Islam’s 2.7 million adherents make it the second-largest religion in
England and Wales, far ahead of Hinduism (817,000), Sikhism (423,000),
Buddhism (248,000) and Judaism (263,000). The other fringe religions are
pagan, pantheist, wiccan, satanist, druid, “Jedi Knight” and others.
Thus Islam is the fastest growing religion in both US and UK
according to the latest census reports announced this year. No wonder
Barack Obama had recently said ’we are no longer a Christian country’.
He wasn’t much off the mark.
The biggest surprise of UK census was the phenomenal increase of
people who said they do not follow any religion and they increased from
7.7 million to 14.4 million almost doubling in last decade, which means
more then quarter of people identify themselves as adhering to no
religion. The assumption is that majority of these people identified
earlier as Christians. This resulted in decrease in Christian’s
population from 71% to 59% in last decade alone.
In the U.S., by contrast, a 2007 Pew Forum on Religion & Public
Life survey found 16.1 percent of respondents identified as
“unaffiliated” with any particular religion.
Major Christian denomination put up a brave face saying that most of
the people who identified as Christians are practicing one rather than
the ones who associate themselves as ‘cultural Christians’.
The results of the UK 2011 census released this week apply to England
and Wales only. Separate data from Scotland will be published shortly.
Source: UK office of national statistics- www.ONS.gov.uk