Church

Where Have All the Christians Gone?

So asks Charles Coulombe in Taki’s Magazine:

Just in time for Christmas, the latest  British census shows that since 2001, when 72% of the UK’s denizens claimed  to be Christians, the quotient has dropped thirteen percentage points. Muslims  have increased in number from 1.55 million to 2.7 million. The percentage of  those who claim to have no religion leaped from 15% to 25%. This opens up some  very serious issues.

Institutionally, the United Kingdom remains wedded to the varieties of  Christianity her rulers imposed at the Reformation. The Churches of England  and Scotland  remain established; the Queen  remains head  of one and chief  layperson of the other. The monarchy is closely tied to its religious  bodies, what with royal  peculiars, chapels  royal, and such ceremonies as the Royal  Maundy Service, the Epiphany, and above all the Coronation.  Her Majesty’s Christmas  Message is often far more inspiring than many a church sermon. Chosen  by the government, the Archbishop of Canterbury acts as a sort of national  chaplain, while he and some of his brother bishops sit  in the House of Lords. The Speaker of the House of Commons has his own chaplain,  and prayers for  the Queen are read at the beginning of each day’s session in both Houses of  Parliament. Every city and town in the realm has a civic church where an annual  service is held for the benefit of mayor and council, and each regiment of  the army has its own  prayer. During this season of Advent, it seems that every imaginable  institution from Land’s End to John O’Groats has its own carol  service.

“The entire wealth of British and European culture is a  testament to Christianity’s truth, and all the atheists from Nietzsche to  Hitchens could not between them equal its beauty—though the Nazis and communists  have shown what European non-Christians in power can build.”

How then, in the face of all of this institutional piety, could Christianity  have been dealt such a blow in the last decade?

Do read on here.

 

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