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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Facts and figures on religious belief, secularism and values

The relationship between church and state

  • 81% of people agree with the statement: "Religious practice is a private matter and should be separated from the political and economic life of my country". 6% disagreed. Source: YouGov-Cambridge Poll

"Religious practice is a private matter and should be separated from the political and economic life of my county"

  • 76% of people said that religious leaders should not influence how people vote in elections. 6% thought they should. Source: YouGov-Cambridge Poll

"Religious leaders should not influence how people vote in elections"

  • 71% said that religious leaders should have no influence over the decisions of the government, whilst 8% said they should. Source: YouGov-Cambridge Poll

"Religious leaders should have no influence over the decisions of the government"

  • 65% of people said that Britain would not be a better place if more religious leaders held public office, whilst 7% said it would. Source: YouGov-Cambridge Poll
  • Just 2% disagree with the statement that the law should apply to everyone equally, regardless of their personal religious beliefs, with 92% supporting it. Source: Ipsos MORI
  • More oppose than support the idea of the UK having an official state religion, with nearly half (46%) against and a third (32%) in favour. Source: Ipsos MORI
  • 32% of people oppose there being seats reserved for Church of England bishops in the House of Lords; 25% are in favour. Source: Ipsos MORI
  • There is overwhelming support for religion being a private, not public, matter. Asked how strongly they support the statement that governments should not interfere in religion, 79% strongly agree or tend to agree, with 8% strongly disagreeing or tending to disagree. Source: Ipsos MORI
  • Four in ten Christians oppose the costs of hospital chaplains being met from NHS budgets rather than by the chaplain's religious organisation, with a third happy for the NHS to pay. Source: Ipsos MORI