In advance of the census on Sunday evening, I would like to raise awareness regarding the CSO guidelines on how to answer accurately one question.
Question 12 asks, “What is your religion?” The CSO guidelines state: “This question is not about frequency of attendance at church or other place of worship. People should answer the question based on how they feel now about their religious beliefs, if any. The question is asking about the person’s current religion or beliefs and not about the religion the person may have been brought up with.”
The census results are used by the government (if we ever have one!) to inform policy and planning. Thus, an accurate portrayal of the country’s religious beliefs is essential, in particular to support change in the area of religious patronage of schools.