Religion in London
Learn more about Religion in London
- For London as a whole, see the main article London.
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London has centres of worship for a multitude of faiths. However, historically it has been dominated by Christianity - clear from the large number of churches around the area, particularly in the City of London which alone contains around 50 churches. Anglicanism is the primary denomination, and the Archbishop of Canterbury's main residence is actually at Lambeth Palace. Most parts of London north of the Thames are within the diocese of London under the Bishop of London at the famous St Paul's Cathedral in the City, whilst most parts south of the river are administered from Southwark Cathedral as the diocese of Southwark. Important national and royal ceremonies are divided between St Paul's and Westminster Abbey.
The largest Roman Catholic cathedral in England and Wales is Westminster Cathedral, from where the Archbishop of Westminster leads the English and Welsh Catholic church. Other Christian denominations also have headquarters in the city, including the United Reformed Church, the Salvation Army and the Quakers, and immigrant communities have established their own denominations (e.g. Greek Orthodoxy). Evangelical churches are also present in the city.
London is the most important centre of Islam in the United Kingdom. The boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Newham have the highest proportions of Muslims in the UK. London Central Mosque is a well-known landmark on the edge of Regent's Park, and there are many other mosques in the city.
Over half of the UK's Hindu population lives in London<ref>Minority religions mainly in London. National Statistics. Accessed 5 Jun 2006.</ref>, particularly in Brent and Harrow where they make up a fifth of the population, and in Southall in West London. The Hindu temple at Neasden was the largest temple of Hinduism in Europe,<ref>Hindu London, BBC, 6 June 2005. URL accessed on 5 June 2006.</ref> until the opening of the Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple in Tividale in 2006.<ref>Opening for biggest Hindu temple BBC, 23 August, 2006. URL accessed on August 28, 2006.</ref> Hare Krishna are sometimes seen on the streets of London, particularly near the Radha Krishna Temple in Soho.
Over two-thirds of British Jews live in London, which ranks thirteenth in the world as a Jewish population centre.<ref>Metropolitan Areas With Largest Jewish Populations, 1 Jan 2002 www.jafi.org.il</ref> There are significant Jewish communities in parts of north London such as Stamford Hill and Golders Green.<ref>BBC London feature on Jewish communities, 11 Aug 2004 www.bbc.co.uk</ref>
Demographically, the largest religious groupings are Christian (58.2%), No Religion (15.8%), Muslim (7.2%), Hindu (4.1%), Jewish (2.1%), and Sikh (1.5%). As in the rest of the United Kingdom, only a small minority of those who designate themeselves as Christians attend church on a regular basis.