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Religion & Spirituality

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Richness In Diversity

What is religion? And in the first decade of the first century of the new millennium, is it needed or necessary? There is no doubt that we still have it and that it is practised the world over by many hundreds of millions, perhaps thousands of millions, in some way or another. Is it desirable or undesirable, a good thing or a bad thing? Should we be religious or should we rather be anticipating the eventual demise of religion and doing what we can to hurry it along? Is it an essential part of human life or is it some unfortunate baggage from our past which should be consigned to a place in our history? Is it essentially about how we behave, our ethical behaviour, especially towards one another? Or is it more about some fundamental dimension of life with which we in modern - or, indeed, post-modern - society have lost touch, but which, if we were in touch with it, would redirect the whole of our lives?

These are the sorts of questions that will be addressed in this section, plus a review of the diverse nature of religion and spirituality in the city.

Religious Identification in the City

All people

Christian

Buddhist

Hindu

Jewish

Muslim

Sikh

Other religions

No religion

Religion not stated

Brighton & Hove

247,817

146,466

1,747

1,300

3,358

3,635

237

2,106

66,955

22,013

Brighton & Hove as a percentage

59.10

0.70

0.52

1.36

1.47

0.10

0.85

27.02

8.88

South East as a percentage

72.78

0.28

0.56

0.24

1.36

0.47

0.36

16.50

7.46

England & Wales as a percentage

71.75

0.28

1.06

0.50

2.97

0.63

0.29

14.81

7.71

Source: 2001 Census Briefing, Brighton & Hove Council

 

A Jedi Stronghold

The 2001 decennial census included a voluntary question on religious affiliation, the first time a question on religion had been asked in a census since 1851.

An internet campaign encouraged people to answer Jedi, the religion or spiritual belief system of the fictional world of Star Wars, the series of films. (Think Yoda, 900 year old Jedi master in the ways of the Force.)

And guess what, 390,000 people in England and Wales declared themselves to be Jedi(s). That's 0.7% of the population, and greater than the percentage of Jews, Sikhs, and Buddhists.

The highest percentage of 2.6 was recorded here in the city, in second place after Christianity. Oxford came second with 2.0%.


May the Force be with You: Jedi Spirituality

Buddhism in 500 Words

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