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Saturday, December 3, 2016
Poll shows over 40% of British teenagers don't believe in God
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¬†A MORI poll on religious beliefs commissioned by the British Library to accompany its exhibition of religious texts, Sacred, reveals that over two in five teenagers surveyed have no religion or faith. But the poll also reveals an unexpected "step change" in belief once people enter their twenties. The poll revealed that 43% of 16 ≠ 19 year olds have no religion or faith but only 20% in the 20+ age group have no religion or faith. In the 65+ age group this shrinks to only 8%. Those surveyed were asked what, if any, was their religion. The overall average shows that one in five people (21%) have no religion or faith. However, when examined across the age groups, this figure becomes more variable. "Does this mean people tend to find faith or become more religious as they get older ≠ or, alternatively, does it mean that the younger generation are increasingly less likely to follow a religion or have any belief?" said a British Library spokesperson. Christianity was the main religion followed, at 64% (including Catholic, Protestant and other denominations) with Islam the second most common at 4%. Of those who do not follow a religion, around one third say they used to be Christian (32%), while three in five have never followed a religion in the past (58%). Among those with a religion, around half "try to practise it a great deal or a fair amount in everyday life" (49%), although a similar proportion say they "do not practise religion very much, if at all" (50%). Those aged 20 or over are more likely than those aged 16-19 to practise religion (50%, vs. 35%); women are also more likely to practise religion (54%, vs. 44% of men), as are those in higher socio-economic groups - 57% of ABs say this, compared to fewer than half of C2DEs (45%). Looking at the different religions, Muslims are more likely to say that they try to practise religion "a great deal" or "a fair amount" in their day to day lives than Christians (92% vs. 46%). Similarly, Muslims are more likely to see religion as "relevant to their life" than Christians (95% vs. 54%), with fewer than half of the people polled saying this overall (43%). The 16-19 year olds are most likely to describe religion as "not relevant" (72% vs. 54% of those aged 20+). Nearly a quarter of those polled say that religion is relevant at all times in their lives (23%); this increases to a third among those aged 65+ (33%) , but falls to 14% among 16-19 year olds . Around a quarter of all people asked say that religion is never relevant (23%). The event most likely to make religion more pertinent to people's lives is the death of a family member (45%). A further third cite weddings as important (31%), with a quarter mentioning the birth of a child (24%). The poll was commissioned to accompany the Library's groundbreaking exhibition Sacred, presenting some of the world's most important, earliest surviving and beautiful religious texts, which ends in two weeks time (September 23). A nationally representative quota sample of 2,030 adults was interviewed by Ipsos MORI throughout Great Britain. Interviews were carried out face-to-face in-home between 10 and 16 August 2007. Data are weighted to be representative of the adult (15+) population. Source: British Library
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