The latest data from the 2011 census for England and Wales revealed some concerning trends for Christians. According to the Office for National Statistics Christianity is still the largest religious group in England and Wales, with 33.2million adherents.
It is, however, the religion with the oldest age profile, with more than one in five Christians (22%) aged 65 or over, the Guardian newspaper reported May 16. This compares with 16% of the total population that is 65 or older.
Around a quarter of the population profess to have no religion, a situation that is more marked among the younger age groups. Four in ten people who declared themselves as having no religion were under 25 years of age.
In its analysis of the figures the Telegraph newspaper pointed out that the decline in Christianity had been mitigated by immigration. In the last decade 1.2million foreign-born Christians have emigrated to Britain.
The same period also saw a large number, almost 600,000 Muslim immigrants.
A similar situation exists in Canada. Results from the 2011 National Household Survey were recently released and they showed that around a quarter of the population reported that they had no religious affiliation, the Washington Post reported, May 16. This was a notable increase from the 16.5% only ten years earlier.
Just over two-thirds declared themselves Christians, with Catholics forming the largest group, making up 38% of all Canadians.
The survey also revealed that more than 7% of inhabitants were Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist, up from 5% ten years ago.
<p>Muslims now represent 3.2% of the nation’s population, a 60% increase since 2001, with immigration the main factor in this growth.