The spirit of things unseen: belief in post-religious Britain

Topic Selected: Religion

General Article icon Type: General Article

For all that formalised religious belief and institutionalised religious belonging has declined over recent decades, the British have not become a nation of atheists or materialists. On the contrary, a spiritual current runs as, if not more, powerfully through the nation than it once did.

  • Over three-quarters of all adults (77%) and three-fifths (61%) of non-religious people believe that ‘there are things in life that we simply cannot explain through science or any other means.’ 
  • A majority of people (59%) are believers in the existence of some kind of spiritual being, 30% believe in God ‘as a universal life force’, 30% in spirits, 25% in angels, and 12% in ‘a higher spiritual being that can’t be called God.’
    • This figure is lower among the non-religious but is still 34%, meaning that over a third of the non-religious believe in the existence of some kind of spiritual being.
  • Nearly two i

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