Tuesday, March 29, 2011
A new survey of the British public has found that most people still identify themselves as Christians.
In a poll of more than 2,000 adults, 56% of people said they were Christian.
Thirty-five per cent of the population said they had no faith, while 8% said they were of another faith.
The poll was conducted by ComRes on behalf of Premier Media Group to coincide with the Government Census this month.
Peter Kerridge, chief executive of Premier Christian Media, said: “Over half of the UK consider themselves to be a Christian – whether practising as such, or by having a close affiliation with Christian values and beliefs.”
The once-in-a-decade census asks each household a range of questions to help the Government and local authorities plan spending on services such as healthcare and education.
The questions included an optional one asking people 'What is your religion?'.
The question had prompted a high profile campaign by the British Humanist Association urging people not to tick a religious box if they were not genuine practitioners of the faith.
Throughout March, the organisation has been running advertisements on buses and public transport networks telling people: ‘Not religious? In this year’s census say so.’
The BHA argued that the findings of the question, ‘What is your religion?,’ could be misleading. The organisation commissioned an independent survey in which it compared answers to that question with answers to a slightly re-phrased question, ‘Are you religious?.’
In answer to the former, 61% of people in England and Wales ticked a religious box, while 39% ticked ‘No religion’. In answer to the second, ‘Are you religious?,’ 65% ticked ‘No’, compared to 29% who ticked ‘Yes’.
The number of people professing to be Christian compared favourably to the Premier poll. Of those who ticked a religious box in answer to the question ‘What is your religion?’, 53.48% ticked Christian, while 7.22% ticked other religions.