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Christians now outnumbered by people with no religion, says report

by Aaron James

British Social Attitudes surveys found in 2014 48.5% of those asked referred to themselves as having no religion - a huge increase from the 25% who ticked the "none" category in the 2011 census.

Those who defined themselves as Christian - Anglicans, Catholics and other denominations - made up 43.8% of the population.

Stephen Bullivant, senior lecturer in theology and ethics at St Mary's Catholic University in Twickenham, told The Guardian: "The main driver is people who were brought up with some religion now saying they have no religion.

"What we're seeing is an acceleration in the numbers of people not only not practising their faith on a regular basis, but not even ticking the box.

"The reason for that is the big question in the sociology of religion."

Mr Bullivant analysed data collected through the surveys over three decades, but the report did not look at data from Scotland or Northern Ireland.

According to Dr Bullivant's report, which will be launched at the House of Commons on Tuesday, the Anglican and Catholic churches are struggling to retain people brought up as Christians.

The proportion of the population describing themselves as Anglican plunged from 44.5% in 1983 to 19% in 2014.

Catholics made up 8.3%, other Christians 15.7% and non-Christian religions 7.7%.

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Stephen Bullivan, the reports author, here:

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