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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Religion in prison


    by Rumbold on 6th August, 2009 at 9:43 pm    

    A recent survey by the Ministry of Justice has found that the fastest growing religion inside is Buddhism, with most adherants probably converting in prison in order to cope with the stress. Yet there were still only 1,737 Buddhists, a figure putting them into fifth place. Richard Dawkins emerges as a kingpin-like figure from the results, with 26,626 atheists and agnostics topping the list. So the next time you hear someone claim that there probably isn’t a God, don’t argue with them- it’s not worth the risk. The Church of England fares little better, with 23,039 members behind bars, leading to speculation about what really goes on at church fetes.



      |   Trackback link   |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Humour, Religion




    23 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. marvin — on 6th August, 2009 at 10:06 pm  

      Haha, there not as stupid as they seem then. Buddhism makes the most sense, feeling of spirituality, with a pragmatism and a goal of inner calm. Nice.

      Actually when I saw the headline I assumed it would be Islam. But it does take the whole of the UK and Wales in to account.

      Inner city jails such as Brixton have around 25% of inmates as Muslim, with large numbers of converts. How genuine these converts are though are anyone’s guess… More about gang culture and group belonging than anything I’d guess.

      I’m an atheist but I’d I think I’d go full on Buddha if I went to prison. Shaolin version. Practice moves in my cell.

    2. Shatterface — on 6th August, 2009 at 10:14 pm  

      As an atheist I’m surprised atheism is growing in prison as ‘turning to god’ looks good when you apply for parole.

    3. anobody — on 6th August, 2009 at 10:25 pm  

      How nice of you to assume it would be Islam, marvin.

      I don’t think any truly god-fearing person would get themselves into prison.

    4. Yakoub — on 6th August, 2009 at 10:30 pm  

      More interesting is the number of Muslim (men) - around 1 in 10 of the male prison population are Muslim, yet Muslims make up about 3% of the general population.

    5. marvin — on 6th August, 2009 at 10:32 pm  

      Why? I guarantee it’s the by the fastest growing in inner city areas. I have made no value-judgements at all, anobody, on this. You have though, clearly, as you sarcastically said how nice of me. :P

      “I don’t think any truly god-fearing person would get themselves into prison”

      Mostly true. Apart from lunatics who think God wants them to kill people, of course.

    6. marvin — on 6th August, 2009 at 10:34 pm  

      Yakoub that is indeed interesting. Do we have figures on how many are converts?

    7. Don — on 6th August, 2009 at 10:43 pm  

      Aren’t there dietary and other advantages to getting religion in prison?

    8. anobody — on 6th August, 2009 at 10:45 pm  

      marvin,

      How many people have actually been put into prison for wanting to kill people because god asked them to?

      20 at most I’d guess, if that. They hardly register.

      I think you’d find most prisoners go in, because they’ve fallen foul whilst trying to chase the secular capitalist dream.

      You know you have secular Jews? well very many Muslims in the UK are secular. I think you’ll find a larger majority of Muslims in the UK are non-practising, but are Muslims only by name. I don’t think you know anything about the Friday Muslim.

    9. Don — on 6th August, 2009 at 11:00 pm  

      Actually, what I meant to say was RUMBOLD ONCE AGAIN YOU SPEW OUT YOUR ATHEISTOPHOBIC BILE BY IMPLYING THAT ALLL ATHEIST ARE BABY-EATING PILLAGING SOULESS ZOMBIES!!!! OR AT LEAST THAT IS ONE POSSIBLE INTERPRETATION, I COULD OF COURSE BE WRONG.

      This is the fun bit,

      Atheists make up 1 per cent of the prison population for the first time this year, with 570 declared adherents to the view that there is definitely no God.

      Just 220 prisoners said they were Jewish – fewer than the 366 recorded Pagans, 340 Rastafarians and 230 Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are also 37 members of the Salvation Army in jail.

      I’m intrigued to know to what extent their crimes reflect their views. Are there typical pagan crimes? The Sally Anne has always recruited from the worn down so I guess only 37 is a credit to them.

    10. David O'Keefe — on 6th August, 2009 at 11:12 pm  

      “I don’t think any truly god-fearing person would get themselves into prison”

      Jesus did.

    11. soru — on 6th August, 2009 at 11:20 pm  

      you’re not going to be all that god-fearing when he’s your dad.

    12. Don — on 6th August, 2009 at 11:24 pm  

      soru,

      brilliant.

    13. anobody — on 6th August, 2009 at 11:31 pm  

      “I’m intrigued to know to what extent their crimes reflect their views”

      Muslims believe that robbing off the kafir is more rewarding than the non-kafir.

      You get 71 virgins if you carry out criminal activities against the kafir as opposed to the normal 70.

    14. Amrit — on 6th August, 2009 at 11:34 pm  

      LMAO @ Don.

      Did it say how many Sith criminals were in prison, given that there are Jedi police officers?

      OK, OK, I’ll leave.

    15. Don — on 6th August, 2009 at 11:35 pm  

      #13
      Really?

    16. anobody — on 6th August, 2009 at 11:44 pm  

      Don,

      #13
      Really?

      Hahahaha.

      You non-Muslims need to get yourselves a sense of humour.

    17. Don — on 7th August, 2009 at 12:06 am  

      It’s on my ‘to do’list.

    18. Vikrant — on 7th August, 2009 at 12:50 am  

      You get 71 virgins if you carry out criminal activities against the kafir as opposed to the normal 70.

      Needless to say, why on earth would anyone want to bother with 70 women when most men like me can’t seem to be able to handle one. Funnily enough atheism isn’t one of the approved religions in the US army. I tried demanding an atheist dog tag the other day, only to be chewed over by my CO… his reply.. “There are no atheists in foxholes son…”!

    19. Roger — on 7th August, 2009 at 1:05 am  

      “More interesting is the number of Muslim (men) – around 1 in 10 of the male prison population are Muslim, yet Muslims make up about 3% of the general population.”

      But they probably are a much higher percentage of the part of the population that is likely to go to prison: young, males living in urban areas with no skills or qualifications.

    20. damon — on 7th August, 2009 at 1:55 am  

      I’m sure Roger is right @ 19.

      From the Telegraph in 2006: ”Overseas nationals now make up about one in eight inmates …”
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1530957/Jails-are-full—what-do-we-do-with-criminals.html

      Many (or most) of the Muslims will be young British guys. So this ‘one in eight’ must be another category.
      Although I’m sure they overlap substantaally.

      Trust the Murdoch press to stir things up:
      ”Prison officers at Whitemoor jail also feared growing radicalisation and conversions among the 395 inmates, of whom almost one third were Muslims”.tol/news/uk/crime/article4916240.ece

      Getting religion in prison is the way to go.
      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/
      It lends structure and material advantage.

      I’d probably do the Buddhist thing too.

      Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    21. Rumbold — on 7th August, 2009 at 10:14 am  

      While this is of course anecdotal, I know a repeat offender who converted to Islam during his last spell inside, and he is much the better for it.

    22. damon — on 7th August, 2009 at 11:47 am  

      Hopefully people who convert or get religion will become peaceful and full of love, and not like some Richard Reid shoe bomber numpty.

      Bad lads getting religion is not always a good thing.
      The mass murderers who carried out the Madrid train bombings were a motley crew of petty criminals (who probably had a guilt thing going on in their minds and feared they were destined for the hell fires) and so looked for salvation through an act of jihad which would purify their sinful souls.

      I can see how some street corner drug dealer (who is nominally muslim) might see becoming pious when sent to prison a great comfort.
      You get welcomed into a community of fellow believers, and it also lends power, as all kinds of demands can be put on the prison authorities. From dietry requirements to being allowed communal study time and regular praying sessions.
      What I’d be most interested in was whether these people were feeling regret for their crimes, or just resisting their incarceration.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/jan/13/prisons-long-lartin-gang-culture-islam

      Jonathan Aitken found becoming a commited christian in prison was a way of removing himself somewhat from the vulgarity of his surroundings.

    23. Shatterface — on 7th August, 2009 at 5:34 pm  

      ‘“I don’t think any truly god-fearing person would get themselves into prison”

      Jesus did.’

      And Gandhi.

      These pacifist types - always causing trouble!

      What’s the conversion rate to White Supremicism, etc? Not as bad as in the US, obviously, but I suspect the conversion rate to Christianity and Islam in America might well be for protection.



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