"The number of residents who stated that their religion was Christian in 2011 fell 13 percentage points to 59% (33.2 million) in 2011 from 72% (37.3 million) in 2001.

The number of those who said they had no religious affiliation increased by 10 percentage points from 15% (7.7 million) in 2001 to 25% (14.1 million) in 2011."

I wouldn't for a second suggest that in order to be a Christian you need to attend church on a regular basis. Even though the pews are mainly empty every Sunday, a fact readily acknowledged by the CofE, this cannot be taken as proof positive that this country has to some extent abandoned Christianity.

However, I do believe that in order to claim that you are a Christian, you should know something about what exactly it is you claim to believe in. How many of this 33 million Christians can answer the following questions:

1. Name the outgoing Bishop of Canterbury and his replacement?

2. Name the four gospels and describe briefly what each tells us about the life of Jesus?

3. Who was Saint Paul and why is he important in the story of Christianity?

4. What are the major differences between Catholicism and the various categories of Protestantism?

5. Quote one verse from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.

My point is, although these millions of people put down in the census that they are Christians, how many truly are? I've no doubt the vast majority of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs know far more about their declared faiths than those who ticked 'Christian' simply because it was the first option on the form. The figures are far from representative of the true picture, and I believe (yes, even atheists believe in things) that the number of non-believers in this country is far higher than the census suggests.

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