Many religious 'Nones' believe in God or a higher power, study finds

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Around half of Brits say they have no religion but this does not necessarily mean they have no religious beliefs at all. 

A new report by Theos finds a broad mix of spiritual beliefs even among those who claim not to have any faith - commonly known as religious 'Nones'. 

Theos' latest report, The Nones: who are they and what do they believe?, found that only 51% of Nones agreed with the statement, "I don't believe in God," and 42% believe in some form of the supernatural.

Fourteen per cent said they believe in a higher power and 9% "believe in God more or less firmly", but only one in 10 (11%) believe in Heaven. 

Over a quarter (27%) agreed with the statement: "I don't know whether there is a God, and I don't believe there is any way to find out."

The report found that many religious Nones have New Age beliefs. While nearly two in five (17%) believe in the power of prayer, 16% were found to believe in reincarnation, 14% in the healing power of crystals, and 14% in the supernatural power of ancestors.

A fifth said that they they definitely or probably believe in life after death and over a quarter (27%) believe in ghosts. 

Men were more likely to identify as None than women (54% vs 46%). Nones tended to be below the age of 50 and Millennials - those born between 1981 and 1996 - formed the biggest age group.

Writing in the foreward to the report, author Hannah Waite said, "Perhaps the most striking fact about religion in Britain is that over half of the adult population say that they don't belong to one."

2019 data revealed that 53% of Britons identified as non–religious. The 2021 Census due out next week is expected to show a rise in Nones since 2011.