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Describe and briefly explain the variations in religious beliefs in the British Isles today.

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Introduction

Describe and briefly explain the variations in religious beliefs in the British Isles today. Percentages Type of belief Great Britain Irish republic Northern Ireland Believe in God 69 95 95 Believe God is personally concerned 37 77 80 Believe the Bible is the 'actual' or 'inspired word of God' 44 78 81 % Believing in: Life after death Heaven Hell The Devil Religious miracles 55 54 28 28 45 80 80 53 49 73 78 78 74 69 77 This table shows the variation of religion throughout the British Isles. It is presented as a percentage of the population. Looking at this table, shows that there is little presence of religion within Great Britain opposed to both Northern and the Republic of Ireland, as only 69 percent of the Great Britain population are believers of God. This is relatively small compared to the Irish 95 percent. The variation between the British Isles is sustained throughout the table, suggesting that Great Britain have the lowest rate of religion and both the Republic and Northern Ireland average to have the highest. There are many reasons why such variations take place within the British Isles, such as; gender differences, social class, ethnicity, and new religious movements. ...read more.

Middle

The way for black people to escape poverty was to recognise the biblical evidence of the emperor of Ethiopia who was the true messiah. In the 1980's a plea was made for Rastafarianism to be looked upon as a true religion, and therefore the dress code such as dread locks were then accepted as part of the religion. This demanded that the enslavement and poverty of the black man due to the British, was to be looked upon as positive and important to our society. New religious movements are groups, which place particular emphasis on mystical or other beliefs. These beliefs are not always susceptible to scientific testing. Many of these groups have become more prominent in recent times, since they have attracted more followers. Most of these groups form as a cult, and if they survive later become a sect. An example of a NRM would be the Moonies this was a mix of eastern religions, and was a group led by a Korean businessman who was known as the Messiah. The Moonie members tended to be from middle class backgrounds and in search of a sense of security. They believe they can serve the Moonie community as effectively as their parents served society. ...read more.

Conclusion

The information needed to gain accurate measurements on the decline or rise of religion in society is extremely difficult. This is because the church attendance and membership records are unreliable. This is due to many reasons such as how the attendance levels rise due to religious festivals such as Easter, Christmas etc. The levels of transformation from the religious institutions to more privatised worship within the home have also risen, therefore the information needed to gain some kind of measurement of religious practice within the home are almost unattainable. Finding out the information would have ethically low validity, as people may be offended when presented questions of their religion. Bellah and Glock both suggest that it is a mistake to assume that religion has declined simply by looking at declines in it's public and communal forms. Instead, Bellah claims that a process of individuation has occurred. He argues that individuals are free to search for their own religion and beliefs, therefore straying from the Trinitarian churches. Globalisation is also a key figure in the modern day measurements of religious beliefs. Globalisation concerns the growth and spread of religious groups throughout the geographical and cultural areas. Such growth of religions such as Christianity makes it hard to measure as it is constantly growing and is situated all around the world. ...read more.

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