Religion in England

England has freedom of conscience. The majority of English belong to Anglican Church which is one of the most developed branches of Protestant Christianity; Catholic and Presbyterian religions are among the most developed in the country. Also, England has a great number of Muslims- one of the biggest expatriate communities in Europe.

Religion in England comes from its rich and independent history. It is closely connected with the royal family. The country used to be a Roman Catholic until 1534. One of the most powerful and most remarkable kings – Henry VIII decided to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon but he was refused by Pope of the Rome. Then in 1534 he divorced Catherine without permission, Married Anne Boleyn and declared himself a head of the new Church of England. Henry VIII did not call to be Protestant but protestant movement in Europe was very strong so when the king severed relations with Rome and translated Bible into English he opened the doors to Protestantism in England.

Though there were strong punishments for this belief during the reign of Mary, after Elisabeth came, she became a head of Protestantism Church and Roman Catholic was never called an official religion of the country.

Anglican Church is ruled by the monarch who elects Cantuarian or York archbishops based on governmental committee recommendation. Anglican commonwealth includes 25 independent churches and 6 church organizations. Today there are 27 millions of people who belong to the church.

Religious education

In England, Wales and Scotland every school has a compulsory course where each pupil get basic knowledge about world religions. Students mainly learn about Christianity and tolerance towards other religions. Private schools provide every day compulsory prayers, though parents can release their children from studying this subject.

Free Churches

Free churches are those that are not approved by the government. The most popular free churches are Bible- Christian church, Baptiste church and Presbyterian church.

Bible-Christian is the largest Free Church in England, it was formed in the XVIII century and it has more than 1, 2 millions of church goers.

Sally Army is the second largest religious organization in England. It was established in 1865, it provides social service such as overnights for homeless, work with drug edicts and alcoholics, in prisons and hospitals.

World religions in England

England is a multinational country that is inhabited by different nationalities. Every nationality brings its own religion. This way there are various churches that are representatives of several world religions. The most popular are Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism.

Buddhism is one of the strongest religions not only in England but all over the world. Its popularity is rapidly growing inside and outside the country. Today England has more than 400 Buddhism groups and 300 temples.

Jewish religion was the one to suffer the most as in other parts of the world Jewish were thrown away in XIII century and only in XVII century they could come back. Today there are more than 150 000 Jews in the country that have a very strong religious community.
Major part of Muslims came to England at the end of XVIIII century. Today it is one of the biggest expatriate communities in Western Europe. According to the last survey there are 2 millions of Muslims in the country.

Sikhism is a religion of African, Indian and other former British colonies. Altogether there are more than 300 000 people who profess Sikhism.

Besides above mentioned religions, England has countless religious sects, cults and small independent religious organization.