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Religions of Children

Survey of Children's Religions

Learning About History Graph

In many countries throughout the world it is difficult for children to support the religion of their choice but in the United Kingdom we are lucky to have absolutely free reign about the faith we follow and the way we worship.

Our survey shows that nearly 30% of children choose to align themselves with no particular religion. Christianity gets the largest following with 31% whilst Islam comes second with 23%. That still leaves plenty of room for Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism and a few others.

It is a legal requirement for all schools to teach religious education and most schools choose to give children insights into several different ones. "Faith Schools" are primarily concerned with one specific religion but even these schools usually teach about other religions as well.

As you go through life you will undoubtedly have friends and acquaintances who follow many different religions so it's good to know a little about each. We'll take a quick look at each of the top religions in the UK – in alphabetical order so that we don't show any bias!

Buddhism

People who follow Buddhism are known as Buddhists. It is an Indian religion and, with over 500 million followers, it is the 4th largest religion. Buddhists follow the teachings of Gautama Buddha and his disciples, they worship in temples and their spiritual leader is The Dalai Lama.

Buddhists believe there are three "Universal Truths":

  • Nothing is lost in the universe
  • Everything changes
  • The Law of Cause and Effect

They believe that for every event that occurs, another event follows that is dependent upon the previous event. Life is eternal – there is no death; instead each individual is reborn into a different life.

Christianity

People who follow Christianity are known as Christians. It is the largest religion in the world with about 2.5 billion believers. The teachings are written in a single book called The Bible which consists of 2 "testaments". The "Old Testament" contains the teachings of the prophets up to about 100 BC whilst the "New Testament" contains the details of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and his earliest followers. "BC" simply means "Before Christ".

Like many religions, the Christian religion has many sub-sets (Roman Catholicism, Church of England, Evangelism, Methodism etc.) and each has its own spiritual leader. They all believe that Jesus Christ was crucified so that the inhabitants of the world would be redeemed and enjoy eternal life.

You can learn more about Christianity by playing our Christian Quizzes and we also have a section devoted to Books of the Bible quizzes.

Hinduism

People who follow the Hindu religion are called Hindus. This is probably the oldest religion in the world with references to it found up to 4,000 years ago. It is variously described as either the third or the fourth largest religion in the world with over 90% of its followers living in India.

Hindus typically worship at the Mandir (temple) but very often they have a special shrine in their own homes. Unlike most other religions, Hindus do not usually worship communally but instead they repeat the names of many different gods and goddesses and offer water, fruit, flowers and incense to them.

You can read much more about Hinduism by visiting our page at Hinduism Quizzes where you will also find links to 20 different quizzes on the subject.

Islam

People who follow the Islamic religion are called Muslims. Their place of worship is called a mosque and there are around 1,600 in the UK which goes to show just how widespread the religion is here. After Christianity, Islam is the most popular religion in the UK.

You may sometimes read about bad things perpetrated by "Islamic extremists" but you should not let this colour your judgement because the overwhelming majority of Muslims are law-abiding, peace-loving people.

Islam shares the same roots as Christianity - they believe in one god and number amongst their prophets Abraham, Moses, Noah, David and Jesus, just the same as Christianity. They call god "Allah" and most prominent amongst their prophets is Muhammad. The divine words they adhere to are found in the book known as the Quran.

One significant difference between Christianity and Islam is that the holy day of Christians is Sunday whereas the holy day of Muslims is Friday.

Learn more about Islam and test your knowledge with our Islam Quizzes.

Judaism

Believers in Judaism are known as Jews; they worship in synagogues and their holy book is the Torah, known as the Five Books of Moses. You may hear Jews referred to as Israelites and Hebrews – all are the same people. More than 40% of Jews live in Israel and a leader is known as a rabbi.

Jews adhere to a code of conduct that is very similar to the Christian 10 Commandments. Pork and shellfish are never eaten and only meat ritually slaughtered and salted to remove all traces of blood can be eaten. Meat treated in this way is known as "kosher" and this word has been adopted in the English language to mean something that is genuine and legitimate.

Our Jewish Quizzes give you an opportunity to learn more about the religion.

Sikhism

This religion originated in the Punjab region of India in the 15th century and its followers are known as Sikhs. It is one of the smaller religions with about 25 million believers. A Sikh leader is known as a granthi or giani, their sacred text is the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and they worship in temples known as gurdwara.

Sikhs can often be identified by their use of headwear known as turbans which are a symbol of spirituality, humility, integrity and discipline. This is a very tolerant religion, believing that men and women of every race and religion are equal and they are taught that they should do selfless service and charitable work for others.

Full Results of Survey

Here are the results from 2,327 children who answered our question "Which religion do you follow?"

Answer Percentage of Respondents
Judaism 1
Buddhism 2
Sikhism 2
Hinduism 7
Islam 23
Christianity 31
Other 5
No Religion 29

List of many more children's surveys

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