Monday, December 18, 2006

AJC: More Brits going to church

Churchgoing tied to British identity - "In a country with a growing Muslim population, many Britons are grappling with what it means to be British.

As a result, experts say, many are returning to the Church of England's grand cathedrals and small parish churches as Christmas approaches.

St. Paul's Cathedral and Canterbury Cathedral among others have had to turn people away and so are adding extra services this year to meet the demand.

The resurgence of churchgoing has more to do with a desire for national identity than a religious awakening, social and religious analysts say.

'It seems to me that there is in the UK at the moment a higher level of interest in Christianity, prompted by the national debate about multiculturalism and an increased awareness that many of our fellow citizens feel passionately about another religion —- Islam,' said Jill Kirby, a policy analyst at the Center for Policy Studies, a conservative-leaning research group.

'This has led to a quest for reassurance coupled with a desire to identify more closely with our own religious norms and traditions,' she said."


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