Britain no longer a Christian country: Report

Its central recommendation is for a UK-wide consultation exercise to draw up a 21st century equivalent to the 'Magna Carta' to define the values at the heart of modern Britain.

Britain no longer a Christian country: Report

London: Britain is no longer a Christian country and should stop acting as if it is, a two-year inquiry into the place of religion in modern society has concluded.

The Commission on Religion and Belief in Public Life, chaired by former senior judge Baroness Butler-Sloss and involving leading religious leaders from all faiths, calls for public life in Britain to be systematically de-Christianised.

The report says "Three striking trends in recent decades have revolutionised the landscape on which religion and belief in Britain meet and interact.

"The first is the increase in the number of people with non-religious beliefs and identities.

"The second is the decline in Christian affiliation, belief and practice and within this decline a shift in Christian affiliation that has meant that Anglicans no longer comprise a majority of Christians.

"The third is the increase in the number of people who have a religious affiliation but who are not Christian".

The report highlights figures showing the decline in people who say they are Anglicans from 40 per cent in 1983 to less than a fifth in 2013.

"The increase in those with non-religious beliefs, the reduction in the number of Christians and an increase in their diversity, and the increase in the number of people identifying with non-Christian religions: these are the settled social context of Britain today and for the foreseeable future, as is the unsettled and unsettling context of the international environment," the 150-page report says.

Its central recommendation is for a UK-wide consultation exercise to draw up a 21st century equivalent to the 'Magna Carta' to define the values at the heart of modern Britain instead of the UK government's controversial "British values" requirements, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Baroness Butler-Sloss said "From recent events in France, to the schools so many of our children attend and even the adverts screened in cinemas, for good and ill religion and belief impacts directly on all our daily lives".

"The proposals in this report amount to a 'new settlement for religion and belief in the UK', intended to provide space and a role for all within society, regardless of their beliefs or absence of them," she said.

The report provoked a warning from the Church of England.

"The report is dominated by the old fashioned view that traditional religion is declining in importance and that non-adherence to a religion is the same as humanism or secularism," a spokesperson said.

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