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Religious London

Religious London

London is bucking nationwide trends and becoming more religious. Drawing on data from a newly commissioned survey, the Religious London project gives a snap–shot of London’s current religious demography and, ahead of the mayoral elections, explores implications for London’s social and political values.

The report – launching on 23rd March – will offer evidence–based recommendations to decision makers on accommodating, practically responding to, and making the most of religious diversity in London.  

London is often perceived to be different from the rest of the UK – more liberal and more secular. However, Londoners are not just more likely to belong to a particular religion, but to actively participate by, for instance, attending services on a regular basis. London’s religious micro–climate is paradoxical: a secular, liberal and cosmopolitan city in which religion is becoming more visible and significant. 

The Religious London project seeks to answer the following questions: 

  • What is the religious make up of London? How does religious change in London compare to other regions of the UK, and are there marked sub–regional trends? 

  • How does religion bring people together and divide them? Does London’s exceptional religiosity result in a different set of social values? What does religious difference mean for social integration? 

  • How are public authorities and public services accommodating this religious and social diversity? Is it best managed through secularism (holding religious expression out of public spaces etc), or through other means? What other practical challenges come from increased religious diversity?  

  • What are the emerging opportunities? How does higher than average religious identification affect levels of volunteering, civic participation and social activism? How do religious groups respond to secular assumptions about the need for a neutrality in the public square – do they perceive themselves as marginalised? Are they engaging in public life to the extent that they could, or are there barriers to greater involvement? 

The main output of the project will be a full report detailing the findings, analysis and recommendations from the research project.  

Report launch date: 23 March 2020.

Researchers: Paul Bickley and Dr Natan Mladin 

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Image by I Wei Huang under a shutterstock licence. 


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