New survey reveals what Britons think of Christians

ONLY 38 per cent of UK adults disagree that being an atheist or non-religious is more normal than being a Christian, according to a Com-Res survey.

The survey on perceptions of Christianity in the UK found that 28 per cent of respondents believe that being an atheist or non-religious is more normal than being a Christian, while 48 per cent of respondents neither agreed nor disagreed.

The survey showed that while 22 per cent of those aged 65 or over agreed with the statement, the figure rose to 34 per cent of 18-24-year-olds, the highest figure between the age groups.

Some 33 per centof people who never go to church agreed with this statement, the highest among the categories, while the next biggest (31 per cent) was among those who go three to four times a week, compared with 20 per cent of regular churchgoers and 9 out of 12 (72 per cent) of those who attend services every day.

The survey also found that 46 per cent of respondents say they feel comfortable discussing their religious beliefs at work.

Meanwhile, 39 per cent of respondents said they assume somebody has no religious belief unless they tell them otherwise. This figure is highest among the 18-24-year-olds (47 per cent).

The survey of over 4,000 British adults revealed that only 28 per cent of people ever go to church service outside of occasions such as weddings or funerals. According to the survey only 9 per cent of respondents are regular churchgoers, while 1 per cent go to church three to four times a week; 2 per cent every month, while 71 per cent say they never go.

Perhaps the strangest finding is that among the 7 per cent of people who agree with the statement ‘I believe that Christians are a negative force in society’, by far the highest percentage of people who agreed (80 per cent) are from the churchgoers that attend church every day.

However this number of people only represents 12 respondents in total, while only 12 per cent of people who never go would agree with the statement (355 people).

Meanwhile, only 10 per cent of the public agreed with the statement that ‘religion is a negative influence on society’. Over 40 per cent of people surveyed agreed that they have had a positive experience of Christians and Christianity. This includes 51 per cent of 18-24-year-olds, the highest percentage across the age groups.

The survey also found that half of British adults (51 per cent) disagree that Christians are a negative force in society.

The survey, commissioned by the publisher Hodder and Stoughton, coincides with the launch of a new book, [i] Faitheism by Dr Krish Kandiah.

In his work with Home for Good, the adoption and fostering charity he founded, he appeals to Christians to provide loving homes for children in care.

Home for Good raises awareness of the needs of vulnerable children, believing the Church is ideally placed to meet these needs and ensure that no children in the UK are without a safe and loving home.

Faitheism was partially written in response to the resistance he has at times encountered from social services to place children in the care of Christians. Dr Kandiah says of his interactions: “We have found that some social workers show a high degree of unconscious bias, suspicion and reluctance to accept Christians as foster carers and adoptive parents.”

Yet the recent ComRes survey also revealed that fewer than one in 10 (7 per cent) British adults would hesitate about leaving their child with a Christian.

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