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22 September 2011

New research

Christians are more likely to be active in their communities than other groups, according to Alliance research.

A recent online poll surveying just over 1,150 Christians has found that faith was a strong motivating factor for them taking an active role in society.

The research in the Does belief touch society? report found a quarter of respondents were trustees of a registered charity compared to a national average of 2.2 per cent nationally.

Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: "Evangelical Christians are not bystanders. We are actively involved in our communities."

Churches and those from Christian backgrounds are widely recognised by the government as taking a strong role on local issues and in getting involved in tackling social problems.

And at a reception this year, Prime Minister David Cameron referred to the huge role that Christians play in society, saying: "I think churches, and religious organisations, have a huge amount to bring to the Big Society….I see organisations deeply involved in civic society and providing great services."

Eric Pickles, the secretary of state for communities and local government, has also said: "Some see religion as a problem that needs to be solved. The new government sees it as part of the solution."
As well as questions on what people understood on Christian faith basics, the research included questions on people's involvement in their communities and opinions on current affairs.

The research found that four out of every 100 who took part in the research were members of a political party in contrast to the national average of 1.3 per cent. Nine per cent of the respondents were serving as school governors compared to 0.7 per cent nationally. 

Christian magazines Inspire and Christianity Today ran pieces on the Alliance research which is part of Does belief touch society? - the first in a series of follow-ups to the landmark 21st Century Evangelicals survey held last year.

Added Steve Clifford: "We hope that this report, by holding up a mirror, will inspire us to seek - and be certain of - God's truth in our lives and our communities."

  • Download and order the Does belief touch society? report
  • Held last year, research for 21st Evangelicals survey by the Alliance and Christian Research surveyed 17,000 Christians asking them questions on the contributions they make to society, what makes a typical Christian, their basic beliefs as well as what opinions they hold about the most pressing issues of the day
  • Download and order the 21st Century Evangelicals report