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Christianity declines among Britons

Figures from the 2011 Census show that the number of people who identify as Christians in England and Wales has fallen by 4 million over the last 10 years. The numbers fell from 37.3 million in 2001 to 33 million last year.

The statistics came as the outgoing archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, claimed that English cathedral congregations are growing dramatically, challenging the claim made by secularists that the Church of England is fading in Britain.

Figures from the 2011 Census show the number of people declaring themselves to be atheists rose by more than 6 million, to 14.1 million.

Other polls have detected similar shifts. The 2012 British Social Attitudes Survey showed that only about half of Britons claim a religious affiliation, down sharply from 20 years ago when two out of three Britons did. Barely a quarter of young people identify themselves as religious.

The statistics show that Islam is the United Kingdom's second-largest religion, at 2.7 million. Hinduism is third, at 817,000. The number of self-identified Jews rose by 3,000, from 260,000 to 263,000.


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