Nonreligious outnumber Christians in Britain -report

The Britons who claim to have no religion now outnumber those who say they are Christian because a lot of people raised with a certain belief are currently losing their faith, according to a new report.

(REUTERS / Suzanne Plunkett)Church-goers arrive for a Christmas carol service at Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, England, December 23, 2009.

Based on the British Social Attitudes Survey and the European Social Survey, Britain has seen a significant drop in the number of its Christian adults since 1983, when two-thirds of adults professed to be Christian. At present, only 43 percent claim that they are Christian and the proportion of those who say they are not religious has gone up to 48.6 percent, The Independent details.

After analyzing the data from the survey, Professor Stephen Bullivant of St. Mary's University in Twickenham said Britain's religious history in the last half-century has been all about the "rise of the nonreligious." He noted that the "heavy" decline of the Church of England began in 1983, with the number of Nones dominating the adult British population in 2009 and 2013.

"No religion has been Britain's largest religious grouping for over two decades: 1993 was the first year to record more Nones than Anglicans, and this has remained the case ever since," said Prof. Bullivant. "Looking at the long-term pattern, the nonreligious share of the population has shown strong growth over our whole period, with a mean increase of 0.5 percentage points per year from 1983 to 2015."

On the other hand, Bullivant also observed that the decline of the Church of England may be coming to a halt because of the rise of patriotism and pride in the Christian faith. He noted that the growth of Nones has slowed down and the Anglican faith has been slowly rising since 2013, The Telegraph reports.

Bullivant explained that Christianity is viewed as an "expression of Englishness." He said that most of people who say they are Anglican are likely to be patriotic.

In addition, Bullivant attributed the stop in the Church's decline to the effective methods of inviting new worshippers. He also said those that have remained with the Church are "genuine believers" and said this news is worth celebrating.