Religion by the Numbers: 65% of Britons Say They're Not Religious

Mar 21, 2011, 13:26 by David Hope

Religion is one of the most influencing factors for many in their lives - just not for those living in the United Kingdom. Almost two-thirds of Britons say they are not religious, a poll by a humanist group indicates.

In an online poll of England and Wales commissioned by the British Humanist Association, 61 percent said they did belong to a religion but 65 percent answered no when asked the question: "Are you religious?" Only 29 percent said yes, the BBC reported.

In a separate poll of Scotland, 42 percent of respondents said they belonged to no religion and 56 percent said they were not religious.

Among those who called themselves Christians, fewer than half said they believed Jesus Christ was a real person who died, came back to life and was the son of God.

The association has complained the wording of the optional religion question on the 2011 British census encourages people to misidentify themselves as believers, and many do so for cultural reasons.

In the 2001 census, 72 percent were labeled Christian, a much higher figure than in other surveys.

The humanist group is urging non-religious people to state their lack of belief clearly in the census.

The Office for National Statistics has defended the question's wording.

The association did not report the margin of error in its surveys.

Source: UPI