Islam is the fastest growing religion in the UK as more people are becoming Muslims and fewer are becoming members of the Church of England, shows a new study.
According to the NatCen’s British Social Attitudes Survey, the Church of England has lost almost 2 million followers in the last two years and is on the brink of “extinction” while the number of Muslims in Britain grew by a millions.
“In 1983, the number of people following Islam stood at 0.6% of the population compared to a little under 5% in 2014,” Naomi Jones from Head of Social Attitudes at NatCen told.
“The number of Catholics in Britain has remained about the same throughout the last 30 years. We know from previous analysis of British Social Attitudes that the main explanation for the increase in British people saying they are not religious is generational displacement. In other words, each generation is less religious than the next. So as older generations die, the overall population becomes less religious. But this doesn’t explain why the Anglican Church alone continues to decline.”
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey said he saw the figures as a matter of urgency and warned that unless urgent action was taken, the organisation was just “one generation away from extinction”. .
He said: “These figures are a call to urgent mission.
“I have no doubt at all that the Archbishops, together with the whole leadership of the Church of England, are doing all they can to reverse this trend.”
Peter Brierley, a former Government statistician who advises religious groups, said of the new figures: “It is very serious for the Church of England and they know it.”
In year 2012, Muhammad had emerged as the widespread first name given to baby boys born in London. The name Mohammad was also second commonest among newborn male babies across the UK and Wales the same year.
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