The UK is pagan not Christian
Justin Welby Says Britain Is NOT A Christian Country, Based On Empty Pews
The number of people actively attending church contradicts with David Cameron’s claims that Britain is a Christian country, Justin Welby said in a blog post.
But despite falling church attendance in the UK, the archbishop acknowledged that it was a “historical fact” that British society and culture was “shaped by and founded on” Christianity.
The debate was sparked after the Prime Minister wrote an article in the Church Times saying Britain ought to be unashamedly “evangelical” about Christianity.
The article provoked a response from more than 50 leading public figures, organised by the British Humanist Association, warning Mr Cameron risked sowing "alienation and division" in society.
But Welby, who described the reaction as "baffling and at the same time quite encouraging", said it was good the Prime Minister's claims had sparked debate.
He claimed that Christianity thrived amid “hatred and opposition” rater than “comfortable indifference”.
In a post on twitter, he added: “It's good that people care.”
He wrote: "The Prime Minister and other members of the Government have not said anything very controversial.
"Judging by the reaction, anyone would think that the people concerned had at the same time suggested the return of the Inquisition (complete with comfy chairs for Monty Python fans), compulsory church going and universal tithes.
He added: "It is clear that, in the general sense of being founded in Christian faith, this is a Christian country.
"It is certainly not in terms of regular churchgoing, although altogether, across different denominations, some millions attend church services each week.
"Others of different backgrounds have also positively shaped our common heritage.
"But the language of what we are, what we care for and how we act is earthed in Christianity, and would remain so for many years even if the number of believers dropped out of sight (which they won't, in my opinion)."
Britain is a 'post-Christian' country says former Archbishop
Britain is now a "post-Christian" country, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has said.Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Lord Williams said Britain was not a nation of believers and that the era of widespread worship was over.
It comes after Prime Minister David Cameron said people in Britain should be confident of its status as "a Christian country".
Deputy PM Nick Clegg said the Church and state should be separated.
Writing in the Church Times, Mr Cameron said Christians made a difference to people's lives and should be more evangelical about it.
This prompted a group of 50 public figures to write a letter insisting that the UK was "a non-religious" and "plural" society and that to claim otherwise fostered "alienation and division".
Lord Williams, who retired from being the leader of the Church of England in 2012, said: "If I say that this is a post-Christian nation, that doesn't mean necessarily non-Christian.
"It means the cultural memory is still quite strongly Christian."
He added: "But [Britain is] post-Christian in the sense that habitual practice for most of the population is not taken for granted.
"A Christian nation can sound like a nation of committed believers and we are not that. Equally, we are not a nation of dedicated secularists.
"It's a matter of defining terms. A Christian country as a nation of believers? No.
"A Christian country in the sense of still being very much saturated by this vision of the world and shaped by it? Yes."
The current Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, has supported Mr Cameron.
On his blog he wrote it was a "historical fact (perhaps unwelcome to some, but true)" that UK law, ethics and culture were based on its teachings and traditions.