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Religious groups and communities in Wales

{St Davids Cathedral}

All the major world religions are represented across Wales today. The Inter-faith Council for Wales was set up by the Welsh Government to represent these faiths, many of which have been long established in Wales and make up an important part of Welsh culture. A National Survey was undertaken in 2011 which showed there has been an increase in the number of Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus living in Wales since the previous survey in 2001, 30.6 per cent stated that they had no religion, whilst Christianity remains by far the largest faith in Wales.  

The Church in Wales is divided into 6 dioceses, which each contain archdeaconries and deaneries and oversight comes from the Archbishop of Wales. Christianity was initially introduced to Britain during the Roman occupation and begun to thrive after the Norman invasion. It is easy to get involved with Christianity today with many churches or chapels to choose from including the denominations Catholicism, Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist. Wales remembers its patron saint, Saint David on the 1st of March each year, our National day.

Did you know...

Wales has many places named after either local or well-known saints such as  Llanfair (St Mary), Llanbedr (St Peter), Llanfihangel (St Michael) and Llanarmon (St. Garmon) and of course the City of St David, the smallest city in the UK?

Islam is now the largest non-Christian faith in Wales and mosques can be found in all major towns. The Muslim Council of Wales was set up in early 2000 to serve the needs and enhance the quality of life for Welsh Muslims, by building community cohesion and encouraging strong relationships with all faith communities across Wales.

An organisation to promote Hindu culture, religion and values was set up and launched in 2013 called the Hindu Council of Wales. It provides the thousands of Hindus in Wales with one voice to promote a better understanding of the culture. There are temples and groups all across Wales with the highest number of Hindus being in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Wrexham in that order. These include the Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Cardiff and Skanda Vale in Carmarthenshire. 

There are major Diwali celebrations each year and other festival celebrations include the Durga Puja heritage festival and Cardiff Ratha Yatra festival. There is, in fact, a Puja Community founded in 1973  that organise and bring to life religious festivals and Hindu music and dance events.

[Llangollen Parade. The communities and cultures of Wales and the World are celebrated through Music at the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod every summer.]

Buddhism has a young history in Wales but increasing numbers are turning to Tibetan or Zen Buddhist beliefs. In fact, there are three Soto Zen masters resident here and actively teaching. The Buddhist Council of Wales lists the organisations in Wales which includes the Cardiff Buddhist Centre, the largest in Wales.

Judaism is the oldest non-Christian faith established in Wales and more information can be found on the Jewish Community and Records website.