January 27, 2023 8.45 am This story is over 10 months old

Heathens and Satanists among us: Do you know your Lincolnshire neighbours?

A look at data from the 2021 Census

Lincolnshire is home to 69 Satanists, 30 Rastafarians, almost 300 witches, 10 Shamanists and eight Scientologists, according to the most recent Census data.

More than 100,000 people now live in the city, and over 1,000,000 live in the county of Lincolnshire itself, showing that Lincoln’s population grew by 11% over the ten year gap between surveys.

Of those 1,095,000 people in Lincolnshire, 412,589 of them identified as Christian in the religion section, with 5,409 saying they were Muslim, 678 put Sikh, 495 said Jewish, and 2,494 put down Hinduism as their religion.

However, it is the smaller numbers that make for the most interesting reading. 294,201 people ticked the ‘No Religion’ box, with just 348 of those being agnostic and 173 being atheist.

123 people said they were Humanist, which is a belief that we shape our paths in the here and now, as it is the only life we have, while three people said they were ‘Free Thinkers’.

A notable absence from the statistics was the option of Jedi Knight, which became a phenomenon during the 2001 Census, which claimed there were over 300,000 of them in England and Wales alone.

The Office for National Statistics said that figure dropped dramatically to less than 1,600 for 2021, though – resulting in it being aggregated with other ‘No Religion’ responses.

There was also an ‘Other Religion’ section, which 3,783 people in Lincolnshire aligned with.

Within that figure are a number of alternative religious practices from all walks of life, whether it be 12 people writing “Believe In God” or 25 people saying they have their “Own Belief System”.

524 people are down as Spiritualists, with a further 345 putting simply Spiritual, making it one of the most common of the “Other” religions, falling short of the 1,314 identified Pagans in Lincolnshire.

Another popular religion in this section was that of Wicca or Witchcraft, collectively having 291 Lincolnshire residents subscribe to it on the 2021 Census, while 74 considered themselves Heathens.

Heathen is a dated term for someone who does not align with traditional religions such as Christianity or Judaism, but the practice is seen as a variety of modern Pagan movements attempting to revive the pre-Christian ways of the Germanic people.

Some of the more eye-catching submissions include 30 Rastafarians, a collective group that see Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia as the Messiah and black people as the chosen ones to return to the African homeland, and 69 Satanists – a movement which views Satan as the central figure and practices his beliefs.

The phenomenon of Scientology, widely described as a cult and championed by celebrities such as Tom Cruise, has also not evaded Lincolnshire, with eight people saying they were Scientologists on the 2021 Census.

The practice of Animism, which sees all living organisms share one common quality of possessing an energising soul or spirit, had seven people in Lincolnshire, and ten people put down that they believed in Shamanism.

This is a system of religious practice which believes that shamans with connections to the otherworld possess powers of healing and communication with spirits.

Other mentions in the list are the inclusion of 31 Druids, 29 Pantheists, 18 Zoroastrians, nine Universalists, eight Reconstructionists and 39 members of the Baháʼí Faith, which celebrates unity across a catalogue of religions.

If you’re one of the people subscribing to any of these lesser known religions, get in touch with your story on [email protected].

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