Practising Muslims 'will outnumber Christians by 2035'

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London, May 8 : Practising Muslims will outnumber worshipping Christians in Britain within 30 years, according to research published here. According to statistics prepared by the think tank Christian Research, which have been accessed by The Telegraph, by 2035, there will be about 1.96 million active Muslims in Britain, compared with 1.63 million church-going Christians.

The figures are published in the latest in a series of reports entitled Religious Trends.

The think-tank also warned that 4,000 churches could close by 2020 if congregations continue to shrink at current rates.

According to the most recent figures from the Church of England, regular Sunday, weekly and monthly attendance each fell by one per cent in 2006. Fewer than a million people attend church every Sunday.

Although at the last count there were only 1.6million Muslims living in Britain - compared to 41million Christians - experts have suggested Muslims are more likely to practise their faith.

More than half of the Muslims who responded to the 2001 census said they prayed every day, compared to 6.3 per cent of Christians who attend church services each week.

Christian Research describes its aim as encouraging "change in Christian culture so that by 2010 more churches are growing".

The Church of England moved to discredit the research last night, criticising its methodology, and saying the results were "flawed and dangerously misleading".

The study used the number of adults on the Church's parish-based formal voting lists as the sole measure of its active "members".

This omitted large numbers who worship every week and are involved in their churches in other ways, according to Church House.

ANI

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