Christians are less devout than followers of other religions in Britain, according to new research.
Christians are also less likely to say that their beliefs influence their everyday life, although they do affect the school to which they send their children.
The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday, provide more evidence that Britain remains a Christian country but most of its residents do not feel the need to attend church regularly and prefer to keep their beliefs private.
The Lifestyles and Social Participation report says:
The 2008/09 Race, Religion and Equalities Topic Report based on data from the Citizenship Survey, shows that 82 per cent of adults aged 16 and over in England and Wales reported having a religion in 2008/09, while 18 per cent reported having no religion. The largest proportion of those with a religious affiliation reported being Christian, with 72 per cent stating that this was their religion. The next most common religious groups reported were Muslims (4 per cent) and Hindus (2 per cent), while 1 per cent reported being Sikh and 1 per cent reported being Buddhist. A further 3 per cent of people responded ‘other religion’ (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2009b). […]
The proportion of those who had identified a religion and also said that they actively practised it varied according to the religion. Only 32 per cent of those who reported themselves as Christians actively practised their religion (Figure 14). In contrast, 80 per cent of Muslims actively practised their religion, the highest proportion of those with a religion who actively practiced. Two-thirds or more of Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists actively practised their religion (70 per cent, 66 per cent and 66 per cent respectively). Among people in the ‘other religion’ category, 51 per cent said that they were actively practising.