London more religious than rest of Britain, report finds


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Source: The Guardian

By Harriet Sherwood, who writes about religion and social issues for the Guardian and the Observer.

London is more religious and socially conservative than the rest of Britain, confounding perceptions of the capital as liberal and secular, research shows.

People in the capital pray more and attend more religious services than those in the rest of the country, according to the survey. It also found Christian Londoners help their neighbours more than their non-religious counterparts, are more likely to volunteer for a charitable initiative, and are more likely to make charitable donations.

However, a significant minority feel marginalised because of their faith, the research for the Christian thinktank Theos found. It says: “It sometimes seems as if there are two cities in London: one sacred, one secular. Certainly, there is considerable value divergence.”


The proportion of people identifying as religious is 62% in the capital, compared with 53% in the rest of Britain – a profile likely to be driven by immigration and diaspora communities, according to the thinktank’s report, Religious London: Faith in a Global City.

One in four Londoners attends a religious service at least once a month, compared to one in 10 outside the capital; and 56% of Christians in London pray regularly, as against 32% of Christians in the rest of Britain.

The report found a more substantial non-Christian religious presence in London than elsewhere, with a fifth of London’s population identifying with a non-Christian religion, in contrast to 7% in the rest of Britain.

Roughly one in 10 Londoners identify as Muslim, compared with less than 2% outside the capital, and “all non-Christian religious groups have population concentrations in London, confirming its status as a gateway city”.

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