Inclusion of the Jain Religion in the UK Census

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As citizens of the UK we are proud of our religious diversity and the contribution it has made to the nation. However, with regret our religious diversity is not fully recognised and reflected in the list of Census questions related to religions. We note with dismay that the current question related to religion in the Census does not include a separate box for people following the Jain religion. This is of a huge concern to the Jain Community in the UK. The petition urges you to rectify this major anomaly.

The Jain religion established at least 5000 years ago is one of the oldest religions followed by 7million people worldwide and approx. 65,000 in the UK. Given the prominence both in relation to the heritage and significant numbers of UK citizens following Jain religion there is a strong case for its inclusion in the (next) census.

Members of Jain community have made a major contribution to the welfare of the UK but sections of our community face deprivation and challenges which need addressing. The lack of a tick box for Jains in the Census means that:

  • Jains are at a disadvantage as they are not considered in the policy and funding decisions made by public bodies like local authorities and central government and stakeholder organisations, the NHS and the third sector.
  • Jains continue to face inequality which is contrary to Government paper which states ‘promoting equality and tolerance are the cornerstone of the Government’s approach on rights and freedoms in communities , including the principle of freedom of religion and belief’ to which government is totally committed’.

We fully support the position paper published by the ‘Institute of Jainology’ on this issue which sets out in detail, a solid well-argued case on this issue. 

On the basis of above we the undersigned urge you to include in the next census a separate tick box for the Jain religion.

Yours sincerely,

Navin Shah

Promoted by Navin Shah and supported by all leading faith groups and political parties