Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Normal service resumed

In today's column, Polly writes that:

The government only just failed to pass the "incitement to religious hatred" bill because Blair himself accidentally failed to turn up to vote.

Actually, the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 did receive royal assent on the 16 February 2006 (source).  The government lost a vote on a proposed compromise between the government's version of the bill and some Lords amendments on 31 January by a single vote.  An amendment, not the bill (source).

Of the UK, Polly writes:

the very small number of religious practitioners in this most secular of nations.

Social Trends 36, on page 200, says this:

Attendance at religious services varies across Europe. Figure 13.19 shows the percentage of individuals who attended a religious service irrespective of faith at least once a month for the EU nations surveyed. In 2002 the highest attendance was by people resident in Poland (75 per cent) and the lowest by people of Denmark (9 per cent). The countries with the highest rates of attendance all followed the Catholic or Orthodox religion, while the Protestant Scandinavian countries recorded the lowest rates. The United Kingdom is placed 13th with 19 per cent of residents attending religious services at least once a month.

Not even in Europe is the UK the "most secular of nations".

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