Religion and Belief


08 / 1 / 2016 9.46am

Celebrating common foundations 

World Religion Day is celebrated annually on 25 January across the globe. It was created by the Bahai faith in 1950 to allow followers of the faith to observe the day publicly wherever they may be.  Now it is in its 65th year and celebrates all religions. 

Today, the aim of World Religion Day is to unite everyone, whatever their faith. It aims to celebrate the common foundations to all religions and show that together it can help humanity, and live in harmony.

The 27 January marks is the Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 - the central vision of Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is to learn from the past in order to create a safer, better future. 

The theme for HMD 2016 is: don't stand by. Information will be shared about the ways in which bystanders created cultures where genocides were able to take place, and about the rescuers and resisters who challenged this. HMD 2016 will encourage people today to consider the ways in which they can choose not to be bystanders.

Key Facts & Figures

In 2011, the Census collected information about religious identity. Just over three-quarters of the UK population reported having a religion, and 59.4 per cent said that their religion was Christian. After Christianity, Islam was the most common faith with nearly 5 per cent describing their religion as Muslim, with Hinduism at 1.5 per cent and other religions at 2.2 per cent. The Census also indicated that 24.7 per cent declared they were non-religious, while 7.2 per cent failed to state their religion.

There is a growing body of empirical research showing that meditation and contemplative forms of prayer have a range of measurable, beneficial effects on health and wellbeing. For example, increasing the ability to focus and be attentive, helping to manage stress, boosting the immune system, and helping to combat depression and boost creativity. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has some information.

Information and resources 

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