Census 2011: A changing religious situation

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Commenting on initial scrutiny of England and Wales 2011 census data, Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society thinktank Ekklesia said:

"The new census data from England and Wales confirms what we have been saying for some time. Britain is increasingly becoming a mixed society in terms of culture, identity and belief.

"The key issue for people of all religions and none in plural settings is to learn to develop their own values and practices in a way that recognises difference and seeks to make a beneficial contribution to society through good example rather than compulsion.

"Seeking commonality is positive. On the other hand, differences can also be necessary and instructive. We should not try to pretend they do not exist, or simply wish them away.

"Mature skills of listening, learning, adapting, holding fast in a non-aggressive way, and working at conflict transformation are all vital in a globalising world. This is the agenda we have to get to grips with, underwritten by compassion."

* Background: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17589