​‘Bizarre’ Bible ban: Is Christianity declining in Britain?

Christianity is supposed to be Britain’s national religion. However, as RT’s Polly Boiko finds, recent census data and polls suggest the faith is in decline.

The last UK census showed a dramatic decline in the number of Britons who classed themselves as Christian. In the 2001 census, 72 percent said they were adherents to the faith. That figure dropped to 59 percent by 2011.

“I wouldn’t say I’m religious, but I have my beliefs,” one Londoner told RT. “I have been brought up in a Christian family.”

You can find a Bible in almost every hotel room around the globe. However, in August the Travelodge chain, one of Britain’s biggest accommodation chains, removed the book from all its 500 hotels for “diversity reasons… in order not to discriminate against any religion.”

The hotel chain said if customers want to read the Bible, they can pick up a copy from the reception desk.

The Church of England condemned the move as “tragic and bizarre,” saying that Bibles in hotel rooms are important to provide hope, comfort and inspiration to travelers.

Several recent cases indicate that Christianity is not practiced as freely as was previously the case. In 2006, a British Airways employee was banned from wearing a cross at work.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2013 that Nadia Eweida should not have been prevented from wearing a cross at work. She was awarded £1,600 in damages.

The Guardian claims that in 2013 there were 5.4 million churchgoers in the UK, representing some 10 percent of the adult population (people aged 15 and over). That is 300,000 fewer than five years previously, when 12 percent of UK’s population attended churches.