Religion isn’t dead yet, but it’s coming to a fast halt.
Belief in a God is on the decline, and the world’s new religion seems to be no religion.
There have long been predictions that faith in a higher deity would fade as the world modernizes, but recent surveys are finding that it’s happening a lot faster than we expected.
For the first time ever, Norway has more people who do not believe in God than do. France, the Netherlands, and New Zealand will soon have a majority secular population, and the UK and Australia are on their way to losing Christian majorities, according to National Geographic.
Religion is rapidly becoming less important than it’s ever been, and recent surveys prove it.
The British Social Attitudes Survey shows that 48 per cent of the public would describe themselves as having no religion. And separate data visualised for Indy100 by Statista in a 2011 census shows that Scotland has the largest number of atheists in the UK.
Here’s each region’s percentage of identifying as having ‘no religion’:
Scotland – 36.7 per cent
Wales – 32.1 per cent
South West – 29.3 per cent
East of England – 27.9 per cent
South East – 27.7 per cent
East Midlands – 27.5 per cent
Yorkshire and the Humber – 25.9 per cent
North East – 23.4 per cent
West Midlands – 22.0 per cent
London – 20.7 per cent
North West – 19.8 per cent
Northern Ireland – 10.1 per cent
With the older generation looking to be the most religious, the presence of atheism is set to accelerate. And the British Humanist Association note that the long-term trend shows Britons moving away from God.
A lack of religious affiliation has profound effects on how people think about death, how they teach their kids, and even how they vote.
Former Tory MP James Arbuthnot identified as an atheist in January 2015, and said he decided to only now speak up about his lack of faith because he was standing down at the next election, Indy100 reports. He also said the need to appear religious was equivalent to the pressure to ‘keep quiet about being gay’ – which, in 2016, really shouldn’t be an issue anymore.