The march of secularism means Britain may no longer be a Christian country in just 20 years, a report said yesterday.
If trends continue, the number of non-believers is set to overtake the number of Christians by 2030. Research by the House of Commons Library found that while Christianity has declined, other religions have seen sharp increases.
In the last six years, the number of Muslims has surged by 37 per cent to 2.6million; Hindus by 43 per cent and Buddhists by 74 per cent. But the number of Sikhs and Jewish believers fell slightly.
The researchers said the number of Christians had only held up to the extent it has because of high levels of immigration over the last decade.
Secularists argue that Christians should no longer have privileged access in Parliament when the number who believe in God is declining so sharply.
Researchers came to their conclusion after studying the Labour Force Survey, which is carried out every year by the Office for National Statistics. It is the most authoritative survey because of its regularity and its large sample size of 50,000.
It found that in 2010 there were around 41.1million Christians in Britain – down 7.6 per cent over the past six years. There were around 13.4million non-believers, up 49 per cent over the same period.
The study, Religion in Great Britain, concludes: ‘Between the fourth quarter of 2004 and the fourth quarter of 2010, the Christian population fell from 78.0 per cent of the population to 69.4 per cent, while the group of people with no religion grew from 15.7 per cent to 22.4 per cent.
‘If these populations continue to shrink and grow by the same number of people each year, the number of people with no religion will overtake the number of Christians in Great Britain in 20 years, on this measure of religious affiliation.’
The internet is a place for experiments, for pushing boundaries that mainstream television hasn’t yet got the stomach for. Living with the Infidels falls into this category. It’s a comedy — made, it should be emphasised, with the full blessing of the Muslim Council of Great Britain — about an inept Islamic terror cell based in Bradford.
The focus of the series, unsurprisingly, is the unlikely sounding prize of the 72 virgins that will greet a Muslim martyr in heaven, rather than the carnage that will get them there. It’s when two of our potential jihadi warriors are discussing this promised paradise in episode one that a buxom blonde, Abi, walks past them, and their urge to self sacrifice waves discernibly in the presence of such attractive earthly delights. As the series evolves we will see that the qualities of the opposite sex and a good night in the pub persuade the jihadists that the West may be for them after all.
Welsh Tories are making an attempt to bring the country’s Muslims into their fold. In the past, these communities have mostly seen the Labour Party as their natural home but this is now changing, Welsh Conservative leader Nick Bourne told the inaugural meeting of the Welsh Conservative Forum in Cardiff. “Following our landslide defeat in 1997, the Conservative Party recognised that it had to change,” Mr Bourne said. “If we were to regain power, we had to become more representative of the people we wanted to serve in government. A party capable of representing all Britain and all Britons.
“On his election as Leader, David Cameron promised to reach out to minority ethnic communities and to recognise the contribution immigrants have made to our prosperity and culture. “And I am determined that we should do so in Wales as well. I believe the Welsh Conservative Muslim Forum marks an important milestone on the road to increasing Conservative engagement with the Muslim community. “In many ways, Muslim values are Conservative values. We all believe in strong families, in enterprise, in self reliance and in individual responsibility.
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“A new Financial Times/Harris Poll of cross sections of adults in the five largest European countries and the United States looks at attitudes toward Muslims and finds differing opinions on Muslims as a threat to national security, prejudice towards Muslims and whether parents would object to a child marrying a Muslim.
When it comes to Muslims as a threat to national security, the British are the most wary as 38 percent say the presence of Muslims in their country is a threat, followed by 30 percent of Italians and 28 percent of Germans who believe the same. Approximately one in five French (20%), American (21%) and Spanish (23%) adults also say the presence of Muslims in their respective countries is a threat to national security. With the exception of Spain and Great Britain, where large pluralities say the presence of Muslims does present a threat to national security, majorities of adults in the other four countries say they do not present a threat.
These are some of the results of a Financial Times/Harris Poll conducted online by Harris Interactive® among a total of 6,398 adults aged 16 to 64 within France; Germany, Great Britain, Spain, the United States, and adults aged 18 to 64 in Italy, between August 1 and 13, 2007.
A summary of the report can be found here.
Europeans face the specter of a growing terrorist threat in their midst. On the two-year anniversary of the London train bombings, Great Britain can no longer ignore its disaffected Muslim communities. The United Kingdom has faced more attacks than any other EU country or the United States. Since September 11, 2001, Islamic extremists have carried out at least four major terrorist attacks on British soil. In the US, by contrast, only one successful attack motivated by Islamic jihad was carried out in late 2001, when letters tainted with a lethal strain of the anthrax virus killed five people.