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Religion in Britain


1.Roman Catholics


-664 England accepted papal control
-1534 series of anti-Catholic acts abolished papal authority
-1634 Catholics emigrate to America, because of Anti-papal legislation
-1829 Catholic Emancipation Act assured Catholics of all political rights
-1830-41 Oxford movement led to revival of British Catholicism ->Roman Catholicism increase in Britain
-1850 Roman hierarchy with archbishop of Westminster at head reintroduced
-1982 Visit of Pope John Paul II to Britain

2.Non-Christain Religious Communities

-since 1950’s Britain developed into a nation with many races and religions
-Immigrants from Asia and Black Africa resulted many Non-Christian Religions
-adult membership to Trinitarian churches fallen by 16%, number of Muslims and Sikhs more than doubled

3.Current Religious Issues

-decreasing influence of Church on society
-concern about sufficient supply of young clergymen in Anglican church
-ordination of women (discussed since 1975, ruled on 1992)
-relationship of Church and State question for Anglicanism (e.g. separation of Church and State)
-British Catholics split over Pope’s view of birth control and celibacy
-urgent problem, because of too big Church influence on Northern Irish politics and school education
-growth of youth sects sine 1970’s (problem for traditional Churches)
-Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament by church members especially from Free Churches
-increasing emphasis on inter-denominational activities, e.g. holidays, conferences, retreats for Christians of all age-ranges
-churches increasingly playing role in British life, comment directly on social problems, e.g. homelessness, poverty, drugs and AIDS ...

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