From THE DAILY MAIL:
A historic Church of England diocese where Muslim worshippers outnumber Anglican churchgoers by two to one is set to be scrapped. According to sources, the Dioceses Commission is drawing up proposals to axe the cash-strapped Diocese of Bradford in Yorkshire and merge it with neighbouring Ripon and Leeds. Some are pressing for both dioceses to be subsumed into the adjoining Diocese of York, to create a ‘superdiocese’ under Archbishop of York John Sentamu.
One insider said, "Some areas with a high concentration of Muslim migrants have experienced 'white flight' and the Church is struggling to maintain a foothold."
Statisticians have predicted that there will be more Muslims in Britain’s mosques on Fridays than Anglicans in church on Sundays within a decade. The latest figures suggest this milestone has already been passed in the Diocese of Bradford. According to official attendance figures, ‘usual’ Sunday churchgoing across the diocese’s 147 parishes fell from 13,500 in 2000 to 8,700 in 2008. Though there are no official statistics for Muslim worshippers, Government surveys have established that at least a quarter of Muslims are weekly mosque-goers. Religious statistician Peter Brierley said that as the Muslim population in Bradford was about 80,000, on a conservative estimate 20,000 are regular worshippers, more than double the number of their Anglican counterparts.
COMMENT: My American friends like to emphasise the multi-cultural nature of their country. But, the cultural differences in the US are now mainly regional and wealth based with a healthy sprinkling of ethnic diversity. When it comes to religious culture, the US is almost completely dominated by the various Christian and Jewish faith traditions. Even the secular, in the US, is based on the ethics of Judeo-Christianity or amorality. Without the guilt of former empire, and with the Christianisation of black Americans years ago, I believe that this will remain the case for a long time to come. There will be movement towards a more secular society but there is no way that a religion other than Christianity will ever gain enough adherents in the States to influence the national culture.
This is not so in England. Here we are living through a change of our cultural identity that has been brought about through the immigration of people of an alien religious culture (alien even, to an extent, from the normal culture of Islam) over a very short period of time (less than fifty years). Already, as we can see in the article above, this new culture has replaced the Christian culture (I use Christian in its widest sense) in some cities. Our experience is more similar to that in Palestine (both Muslim and Jewish) than it is to the "We'll take your poor" experience of the US. And that is very worrying when you look at how the situation has descended into bloodshed and mutual hatred in the Middle East.