Some of the major religions in the world are found in Wales including Christianity (the largest religion in Wales), Sikhism, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism. Most of the non-Christian faiths can be found in the cities of Swansea, Cardiff, and Newport.
The Largest Religions In Wales
Christianity remains the largest religion in Wales. The religion first arrived in Wales at the height of the Roman Empire. It was initially banned by the authorities who were skeptical and suspicious about its exclusivity and secrecy. It started as an urban religion and steadily grew among the population. In recent years, the religion has witnessed a significant drop from its historic highs. For example, in 2001, when an estimated 71% of its population professed the faith, the proportion of believers dropped to 57% according to statistics taken in 2011.
While the number of people professing the various religions such as Christianity has been on a steady decline, those identifying with no religion have been on the rise. In 2011, an estimated 32% of the population had no religion in Wales which is a rise from 15% that was recorded in 2001.
Islam is the largest non-Christian faith in Wales. According to the census of 2001, the religion had 22,000 members. The religion is thought to have experienced significant growth in the south of Wales when the City of Cardiff was among the largest coal exporting ports in the world. The Yemeni Muslim population in the city is also thought to be among the oldest members of the faith in Britain. The city's first purpose-built mosque was built in 1947. The mosques number has since increased to about 40 in total.
Hinduism and Buddhism
The two religions have about 5,000 Welsh members each. It means that each accounts for 0.3% of the population. The largest number of Buddhists is found in Ceredigion.
Sikhism has about 2,000 members who represent about 0.1% of the population.
Other Religions Practiced In Wales
According to the census of 2001, the number of people from “other religions” in Wales was about 7,000. A large number of people in this category identified themselves as Druids. The Druid beliefs were practiced before the Roman invasion, and the revival of the religion arguably marks a full circle in the religion's history.
The Largest Religions in Wales
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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