A “dramatic decline” in Christian belief and practice, along with a “substantial increase in atheism,” are recorded in the latest findings on religion from the British Social Attitudes survey.
“Over time, there has been a dramatic decline in the proportion of people who identify with Christianity along with a substantial increase in those with no religious affiliation, and a steady increase in those belonging to non-Christian faiths,” the report says.
The percentage identifying as Church of England or Anglican fell from 40 in 1983 through 22% in 2008 to 12 percent last year. Catholicism, however, fared better, with equivalent percentages falling from 10 to just 9 and then 7% last year. One increase over the period was among non-denominational Christians, up from 3% in 1983 to 10% in 1998 and 13% last year – a higher proportion of the population than Anglicans.
Meanwhile, new analysis from Pew Research shows that between 2007 and 2017, laws, policies and actions by state officials that restrict religious beliefs and practice increased markedly around the world. Violence and harassment by private individuals, organisations or groups, along with other social harassment, also increased.
Pew found that 52 governments, including China, Indonesia and Russia, impose either “high” or “very high” levels of restrictions on religion, up from 40 in 2007.