Published on Sep 18, 2013
Christianity’s central place in British culture could be increasingly under threat, with church attendance numbers in severe decline. Meanwhile, the nation’s second largest religion, Islam, is growing faster than ever; with some studies suggesting it could eventually become the dominant faith. RT’s Polly Boiko has the story.
The UK’s official religion is dwindling at a record speed, with the decline of the Church “approaching rock bottom,” experts warn. While Christian congregations age, most British mosques are bringing more and more young people on board.
Public mosque services attract thousands of British Muslims, but when you check out a church, there are hardly a dozen participants at Sunday morning worship, RT’s Polly Boiko reports from London.
“The decline of churches in the UK is long term, now it just happens to be approaching rock bottom. So 95 percent of people don’t attend church on an average Sunday. Christian worship is already the concern of a tiny minority of people,” Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association, told RT.
“I think over time even the weak cultural identity that still seems to be associated with Christianity will banish away, probably all over Europe, not just in the UK,” Copson added.
The British Muslim population has surged dramatically over the past 15 years, increasing by 75 percent. According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, Muslims have the youngest age profile of the religious groups, with 48 percent (1.3 million) aged under 25.
Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari, Honorary Chairman of one of the largest mosques in the UK, the East London Mosque, believes that’s because Islam’s family values are “really bonded, and families really try to nurture young people in the folds of Islam.”
He told RT that the Mosque he goes to, founded in 1910 and accommodating 7,000 worshippers for congregational prayers, has a congregation over 50 percent young people, who feel “part of the Mosque establishment” these days.