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    Vatican City: Vatican Museums. Go Now!

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    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

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  • United Kingdom!

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    This country includes England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland with four distinct cultures to match. Explore the United Kingdom!

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Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of the United Kingdom

Ethnicity

The people of the United Kingdom today are generally English, Scottish, Welsh, or Irish ethnically, but there are various additional ethnic minorities and each of the above mentioned ethnicities are a result of numerous ethnic mixings. The English tend to be a combination of Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, all of which are Germanic and together make up what is known as Anglo-Saxons. The Scots are generally a mixture of Picts, Gaels (Gaelics), Anglo-Saxons, and Normans. The Welsh are somewhat of a mystery, but seem to be related to some degree to the English, Scots, and Welsh. The Irish seems to be a mixture of historic local peoples, Gaelics, Norwegians (from the Viking Ages), Scots, and Picts. Of the minority groups living in the United Kingdom, the Pakistanis, Indians, and Bangladeshis (together) form the largest group. However, the country, particularly London, is a major immigrant destination and there are people of nearly every ethnicity living there.

Language

Although many minority groups speak their native languages, the primary and only official national language in the United Kingdom is English. English is also the primary language of communication no matter a person's native language. English today is the result of multiple influences, but primarily comes from the Germanic language tree brought over by the Saxons and Anglos with a heavy influence from latter Norman French.

There are some officially recognized regional languages, such as Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Welsh, although few people speak these languages today. All three languages are Gaelic languages, with Irish and Scottish Gaelic being fairly closely related to each other, while Welsh is a more distant relative.

Religion

The United Kingdom has no official religion, but is primarily Christian. The royal family adheres to the Anglican Church, but this was not always the case and their adherence to this religion doesn't seem to strongly influence the general populace to practice. Muslims, Hindus, atheists, and Christians proclaiming no allegiance to any particular church are also common among the people.

The Anglican Church is a protestant religion. Like all Christian and protestant faiths, Anglicans believe there is one God and that His son, Jesus is the savior and forgiver of sins. Anglicans also believe that the Bible, which includes the Old and New Testaments, is the only true word of God. It is generally in the interpretation of the Bible that protestant religions vary and this is true in the case of Anglicanism.

This page was last updated: May, 2014