Monday, 28 April 2014

Britain - a Christian country?

Much has been said over the last few days about whether or not the UK is still a Christian country.

From the Prime Minister’s comments about needing to be “confident of our status as a Christian country”, to the former Archbishop of Canterbury’s pronouncement that we are now “post-Christian”.

Let us first look at some statistics:
According to the 2011 census, 33.2 million people identify as Christian (59%) of the population.
That’s approaching two-thirds of the population.

Research by the Brierly Consultancy shows that in 2010, 5.5 million people were members of a Christian church.  So what of the other 28 million identifying themselves as Christian?  Could it be that they think of themselves as Christian despite not being church members, maybe only attending church at Christmas and Easter?

Looking beyond numbers, consider the values that underpin our society.
I’ve written elsewhere about foodbanks – many are run by churches and church groups – an example of Christianity being at the centre of our society.
Also the Fairtrade movement – churches were in the vanguard of this – bringing Christian values to the forefront of society.

Being a Christian country doesn’t mean that other faiths are not welcome – indeed, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu leaders have supported Cameron’s comments about being confident of our status.

Britain IS a Christian country, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of this fact.

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