Wednesday, March 02, 2011

UK Census campaign takes off - Tick the Box for Buddhism!

27th March 2011 sees the next UK census, the first since 2001, and for the second time it'll include a voluntary question asking "What is your religion?" Triratna has been working closely with the UK's Network of Buddhist Organisations to make the most of this opportunity to show how many British people live by Buddhist values: they believe there could be up to 500,000 Buddhists in the UK!

The NBO's campaign, simply titled "Tick the Box for Buddhism", asks for three responses -

1. to tick the 'Buddhist' box on the Census form;
2. to cascade this message to EVERYONE you know who is either Buddhist or who lives by Buddhist values and
3. (optionally) to join the NBO’s Facebook campaign page.

This could radically change the picture of religion in the UK!

The NBO believes that many thousands of British people support or live by the teachings of Buddhism in various ways: they meditate, practise mindfulness or other Buddhist practices, agree with the Buddhist approach to life – but that many prefer - for a variety of reasons - to avoid labelling themselves, either Buddhist or anything else. They say - “This is very understandable, but accurate Census figures make a real difference. Buddhism is officially recognised as one of the six major faiths in the UK and Government funding is allocated to each faith in proportion with Census figures. What's more, Buddhism has a distinctive contribution to make to British life. Of the six major faiths it's the only one not to worry about God and it's free of many things commonly considered problematic about religion. Teaching wisdom and compassion for all, it offers mindfulness and meditation practices which are scientifically acknowledged to lead to wellbeing and happiness.

“We want the next Census to represent more accurately the level of support for Buddhism in the UK. If we achieve a figure of 500,000 or more, the result could be increased funding for Buddhist initiatives; for example, mindfulness training in the NHS. We might also see much better representation in the school curriculum: Buddhism plays a distinctive part in Religious Education and the teaching of secular mindfulness meditation has much to contribute to young people's wellbeing. We'd also give a clear indication of the number of people in the UK supporting positive behaviour and policies based on common-sense; genuine concern for the well being of others; non-violence; free, rational and open discourse and liberal social attitudes. This is your chance to make a real difference”

Facebook campaign page:
NBO website:



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