London, Mar. 22 (ANI): According to a European Union survey, Britain is one of the least religious nations in Europe, but it has one of the highest rates of "fuzzy or abstract faith."
The major study says only 12 per cent of Britons feel they belong to a church, compared with 52 per cent in France, The Telegraph reports.
However, it also found that the UK has one of the highest rates of "fuzzy faith" or people who have an abstract belief in God and an ill-defined loyalty to Christian traditions.
Conducted as part of the influential EU-funded European Social Survey, the study is likely to witness a shift in attitudes and values.
"Christian faith will soon have no role among our traditional establishments or lawmakers. It remains to be seen for example, how much longer bishops will be allowed to sit in the House of Lords," Professor David Voas of Manchester University's Institute for Social Change said.
"Fuzzy faith is a staging post on the road to non-religion. They still go along with the some kind of religious identity but a nostalgic affection for Christianity is dying out," Voas opined.
However, Professor Linda Woodhead, of Lancaster University, who is leading a long-term 8.5 million pound government research program on the role of religion in society, disputed Voas' conclusions.
"Just because you're not religious, it doesn't mean you're not spiritual or moral"A lot of people simply don't want to take the whole package of religion on board."
The study, being published in the European Sociological Review next month, also concludes that there is no evidence to support the idea that interest in religion resurfaces as people age.
While "new wave" religions like Scientology, Kaballah or the Moonie faith, have received considerable media coverage because of their association with Tom Cruise, Madonna and other celebrities, the number of followers remains tiny, the study noted. (ANI)