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Fact Sheets

“The re-emergence of religion in the public square is one of the biggest and most significant paradigm shifts of recent times.”


Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford

There are 7.5 billion people in the world and an estimated 85% identify with a religious group. The biggest religion is Christianity, accounting for about one-third of the earth’s population. The next is Islam whose adherents make up about one-quarter of the world’s inhabitants. There are about one billion Hindus, 500 million Buddhists, 14 million Jews and many smaller faith groups http://www.pewforum.org/.

Understanding religion and belief is and will remain central to public life and debate, however significant the growth of secularism. Tens of millions of people in the UK continue to identify with a religious faith and we all have frequent encounters with people of all faiths and beliefs. Religious literacy is essential to understanding the world in which we live and our daily interactions across all levels of society, in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

The media plays a key role in developing and enhancing this understanding. The Religion Media Centre has no editorial line nor does it promote any one religion, or religious belief in general. Instead, it exists to provide accurate, timely and relevant information to the media, enabling the public to be better informed and promoting decision-making based on fact, not prejudice or stereotypes.

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