Friday, January 22, 2016

The church isn't dead yet

According to the latest poll, the number of white Britons who say they have no religion is greater than the number who claim to be Christian.

YouGov did  the poll for Professor Linda Woodhead, co-director of the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University, last month. 

Of a sample of 1,500 people, 46% said they had no religion. This was up from 42% in February, 2015, and 37% in January, 2013. This figure rose to more than 50% among white British.

The non-religious trend was most pronounced among under-40s. Among under-40s of all races, 56% had no religion, while 31% said they were Christian. Some 16.5% of those who said they had no religion believed that there was definitely - or probably - some higher power. Only 5% were absolutely convinced that God did not exist.

Andrew Brown, who writes on religion for the Guardian, points out that 95% of children of non-religious parents remain non-religious, while only 40% of the children of Christian parents continue to call themselves Christian. To me, he always appears to criticise the church for standing for what it believes, and seems almost impatient for the church to die and be replaced by "some kind of organised humanism."

I am confident he will be disappointed. We might live in dark days, but the church isn't dead yet.

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