A campaign held in 2011 by Metal Hammer magazine to make heavy metal a recognised faith in the UK has come to fruition with great success, Census results have shown.

Whilst the Christian population of England and Wales has fallen by 3 million in the past decade, Heavy Metal made its first appearance with 6,242 people in the UK devoting themselves to their faith.

"From the moment we started our Heavy Metal For The 2011 Census page on Facebook this thing took on a life of its own," says Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas. "Suddenly a notion born with the owners of the Crobar in London was getting picked up by the Guardian, The Independent, and the Telegraph among many other news and radio outlets around the world. A bit of fun? Sure, but this terrific result also makes a serious point - heavy metal is more than a genre, it's a community and a way of life for countless people around the world. Our first and only commandment? Everything louder than everything else."

Metal Hammer and heavy metal have always had a very interactive and loyal fanbase. Recent research has shown that Metal Hammer’s fanbase has made them the sixth most popular publication on Facebook in the UK.