‘People who are religious are more likely to be patriotic than are those who self-define as atheists or non-believers.’ So claims a report launched today by the think-tank Demos, and based on interviews with a representative sample of 2,086 adult Britons aged 18 and over in May 2011.
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The full data tables from the survey do not appear to have been released as yet. So all BRIN can currently offer are a few religion-related snippets extracted from the published report, as follows:
- Among the population as a whole 79% said that they were proud to be a British citizen, but the proportion rose to 88% of Anglicans and Jews, 84% of Nonconformists, and 83% of Muslims
- Asked whether Britain’s best days were behind her, 44% of the entire sample agreed – Anglicans (50%) were more pessimistic than average, although Muslims (31%) were more inclined to optimism, with secularists (43%) about the norm
- Almost four-fifths of respondents believed that people in Britain were less proud of their religion than 50 years ago – just 35% said they took pride in their own faith
- 20% of Muslims but 10% of those without religion claimed strongly to take pride in Britain’s treatment of gay people
- 14% claimed to have attended a Church of England service in the past six months and 15% another religious service
A word of warning. Unless they were deliberately oversampled, which seems unlikely, the cell sizes for some faith groups must be fairly small.
There is a consequent danger in over-egging the results, as The Sunday Times could be said to have done yesterday with its preview of the report under the headline ‘Muslims are Britain’s greatest flag wavers’.