- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A new survey by Britain’s largest independent social research agency finds that a majority of its citizens, a record share of the population, identify as “no religion.”

The National Center for Social Research released the findings this week of a survey of 2,942 adults that show 53 percent of the population rejects religion.

The group, which has conducted the same poll for decades, showed sagging attitudes toward religion in almost all groups, except for the Catholic Church.

Some of the statistics include:

  • Just 3 percent of young people, aged 18-24, described themselves as Anglican, the official state religion in England.
  • 71 percent of those aged 18-24 said they had no religion, up from 62 percent in 2015.
  • Just 15 percent of people in consider themselves Anglican. As recently as 2000, the proportion of the population who considered themselves Anglican was 50 percent.
  • 10 percent of people have described themselves as Catholic over the past 30 years.
  • 6 percent of people have described themselves as “non-Christian,” a group that mostly consists of recent immigrants from Hindu- and Muslim-dominant nations.

Roger Harding, head of public attitudes at the nonprofit, said some of the findings can be attributed to cultural shifts related to homosexuality.

“Religious people are becoming more socially liberal on issues like same-sex relationships and abortion,” Mr. Harding said. “With falling numbers some faith leaders might wonder whether they should be doing more to take their congregation’s lead on adapting to how society is changing.”

Bishop Paul Bayes of Liverpool put an optimistic spin on the findings by saying, “‘no religion’ was not the same as a considered atheism,” the BBC reported Monday.

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