Don’t believe it? – Don’t tick it!
On 21st March this year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will be conducting the 2021 Census in England and Wales (there are different arrangements for Northern Ireland and Scotland*). The Census will again include a tick-box section that asks people about their religion and lists several options to choose from, including: ‘No religion’, ‘Christian’, ‘Hindu’, ‘Muslim’, etc.
Atheism UK is encouraging everyone who completes the 2021 Census, and doesn’t follow a religion, to say so by ticking the ‘No religion’ option.
Many people who were christened or baptised as babies have little or no interest in religion as adults. However, some still tick one of the religion options when filling in forms or questionnaires such as the Census or job applications, etc. Being labelled with a particular religion as a young child and having little or nothing to do with that religion while growing up, does not mean you should continue to be associated with it as an adult.
Why are we drawing your attention to this? Well, in the UK, church attendance is falling and the number of people who have no interest in religion, or are just indifferent to it, is rising. Atheism UK wants to help get a better picture of how many people follow a religion or not.
The more that atheists stand together to be counted, the greater influence we will have to combat the false claims and undeserved privileges of the religious institutions.
If you don’t follow a religion, please say so in the 2021 Census.
*The Northern Ireland Census will initiate on 21st March 2021 but is separate from the England and Wales Census. The Census for Scotland will take place in March 2022.
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