Great Britain is a Christian country

Great Britain: Christianity on the decline, Islam on the rise

Mighty churches shape the image of many British cities and villages. Not only the almost thousand-year-old cathedral of Canterbury or St. Paul's in London are famous, but also the Gothic churches of Durham, Ely, Lincoln, Salisbury, Winchester and Wells - testimonies of the Christian faith of the population in stone. The Church of England has more than 16,000 churches. They are often among the most beautiful buildings in the towns and have traditionally been community centers. But faith is waning.

The Volkswagen Foundation dealt with the conversion of church buildings in an online conference. Examples such as England and Switzerland show: conversions of places of worship can enable new spiritual approaches to the church.

The proportion of Christians below 50 percent for the first time in more than a thousand years

Recently, on March 21st, another census took place in the United Kingdom, which records the population in detail every ten years. Religion is also asked. It will take several months before the results of more than sixty million people are evaluated. But a result is already foreseeable: The proportion of those who call themselves Christians will likely have fallen below 50 percent in 2021 for the first time in British history in more than a thousand years. The left-liberal “Guardian” writes soberly and without regret of a “post-Christian Britain” that will become a “spiritual enigma”.

When the question about religion was first asked in 2001, 72 percent in England and Wales said they were Christians, compared with 59 percent in 2011. The downward trend is rapid and unbroken. It is evidently progressing faster than the scientists at the American Pew Research Center estimate, who do not expect fewer than 50 percent Christians until 2040. The proportion of those who state “no religion” in the census has risen from 15 to 25 percent (2011). Ten years ago in the 8 million metropolis of London, less than half of the population described themselves as Christians.

Islam on the rise

UK Education Secretary condemns threats made by radical Muslims against a teacher in Yorkshire.

The churches of the Anglican Church of England are mostly empty - even before the corona lockdowns resulted in a forced closure. Less than a million people attend church services every week, which is only around two percent of the population and thus far less than in countries like Germany (ten percent of Catholics, three percent of Protestants) or France (five percent). As early as five years ago, a church report said that fewer than twenty believers attend church services in a quarter of English places of worship, and fewer than ten in rural areas. Of the good thirty percent of Anglicans at the turn of the millennium, around half have disappeared.

Islam is clearly on the advance. There are more than a million Muslims in London; in all of England and Wales ten years ago, according to the census, it was more than five percent of the population. In some northern English cities such as Oldham north of Manchester there are already more than 20 percent Muslims. This also creates conflicts, such as recently in a school near Bradford, where a religion teacher, after showing a drawing of Mohammed in class, has to go into hiding after angry Muslim protests and death threats. In some communities, Islamists have achieved dominance, and Islamization is creeping up.

Hardly any public regret

The number of Catholics in England has risen to over four million in the last two decades due to the influx of around one million Eastern European Catholics, especially from Poland (Prime Minister Boris Johnson is one of this minority), which corresponds to a Catholic share of just over seven Percent of the population in England. But the number of Muslims will soon surpass them.

It is remarkable how little attention or deplorable public debate the de-Christianization causes. The sociologist Linda Woodhead of the University of Lancaster wrote years ago that Britain was going through "the greatest religious transition since the Reformation of the sixteenth century". The multicultural, postmodern and “woke” zeitgeist has little in mind with the old Christian traditions and influences, rather it is hostile to them in many ways. The conservative former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, complained that "political correctness" was undermining Christianity after children were sent home in individual schools because of a cross on a chain and many cities no longer have Christmas markets but "winter markets". Instead of cards with Christmas greetings, religiously neutral "Seasons Greetings" are sent. Carey complained years ago that no politician "expresses concern that Britain should remain a Christian country". This silence is "a scandal and a shame for our history".

The Anglican Church adapts to the zeitgeist

However, the Anglican Church has long ceased to be a conservative force, rather it trumpets along with almost all messages of the zeitgeist. The Guardian wrote a few years ago: “The Church of England has only changed drastically in recent times, from the praying Tory party to a boldly left-wing church.” This has also created tensions globally. The Anglican Church worldwide has been divided and sometimes divided over the question of the assessment of homosexuality - the blessing of same-sex couples and homo "marriage" - since the 1990s; the majority in Africa and Asia refuse to do so. In Great Britain the mainstream Anglicans are progressive. Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, believed to be the likely successor to current Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, said at Easter that his personal priority was addressing alleged racism in the Church of England. He would like to see more ethnic minority bishops appointed.

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