The Benedict XVI Center for Religion and Society, launched by St. Mary’s University in Twickenham, released its May study based on data from the latest British Social Attitudes survey and European Social Survey.
Key findings of this survey suggest that the nation is becoming very much more secularised, while also showing that non-Christian religions are growing.
The report contains shocking bullet points like…
“For every one person brought up with No religion who has become a Christian, twenty-six people brought up as Christians now identify as Nones, (Non-religious)”
This headline figure may not be quite as bad as it might sound.
If you are like me, you would find it not really credible that, true, born again, washed in the blood, Christians are loosing their faith at all… let alone at this apparent rate.
If you look at Fig. 1.3 in this study, ‘Religious affiliation in Britain, 1983-2015,’ you will see that most of the losses from Christianity to other religions or to other religions appear to be coming from the Church of England, with a little coming from the Catholic church.
While I am by no means saying that there are not true believers within the Anglican church, it is also more likely that there are what we might call ‘church goers’ or ‘nominal Christians’ within the Church of England than in other denominations.
The Purple line on this chart, other Christians is holding up reasonably well.
Fig. 14 of this report suggests that up to 28% of the new non-religious Brits describe their upbringing as being ‘other Christian,’ that is not Anglican or Catholic. Many of these too may never have been in the church for themselves, but rather the children of believers, or only having been churchgoers not true believers. It should also be noted that for many years now in denominations like Methodist and Baptist Union and URC, there are a great many congregations that we far from what might be described as traditional biblical Christianity, and many members of these congregations may have moved from ‘non-believing churchgoer’ to now describing themselves as non-religious.
But at least it looks like the non-Anglican non-Catholic churches are if not growing much, they are least holding their own. If, and I believe it is true, many liberal church congregations are collapsing, then true Bible believing churches must be growing to keep this line steady.
London is somewhat troubling. While London was found to have by far the fewest non-religious people in Britain, with only 31 percent of people identifying as such. It appears that much of this is down to migrant populations, many of home are Catholic or non-Christians, and the growth of non-Christian communities.
As much as 28 percent of people in inner London said they follow a non-Christian religion, which was higher than any individual Christian grouping.
The Non-Christian religious population of London, more than quadrupled since its 2 percent share in 1983, rising to 8.4 percent in 2015. The study found that Muslims have been the main source of growth, growing from 0.6 percent to 3.9 percent in the same time period, though Hindus now also make up 2 percent of the population.
8.4% may sound fairly small, but the growth rate is very troubling. More than quadrupling is a staggering growth rate. Islam appears to be growing even faster and over this period it grow by more than six times.
If they repeat this over the next 30 years, (and they are likely to out do this growth rate), we could see London and other inner cities becoming something like 25% plus Muslim. It is considered by many that 20% is enough to make a significant impact on democratic government.
Already some parts of London are being described as Londonistan, with its new 423 mosques, built on the sad ruins of English Christianity.
The report points out that since 2001, 500 churches in London of all denominations have been turned into private homes, while the number of Muslims has grown by almost a million.
Gatestone, (the author of the report), also warned that as many as 100 Islamic sharia courts are now operating in London, despite their rejection of human rights and the values of freedom and equality of English Common Law.
Good news, Bad news.
So there is some good news and some very challenging statistics.
It appears that there is a purifying of the church, with many non-born-again churchgoers leaving the church, and true evangelical congregations, at leat slightly growing, but there is a worrying growth of Islam.
We must also note that while non-born-again churchgoers, many not be an actual loss to the kingdom of God, their move from nominal Christian to openly secularist, is likely to have a detrimental effect on the moral standards of the nation.