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03 January 2017

Belief and unbelief - the statistics behind the magazine

Belief and unbelief - the statistics behind the magazine

Recently we surveyed 1,330 evangelical Christians on their opinions on belief and unbelief. Topics included other religions, secularism and sharing the gospel. We expand on these results in the current issue of idea magazine, including an analysis by the Alliance's director of advocacy, Dr Dave Landrum. You can read that here.

Below are the highlights from some of the statistics. This is just a snapshot of results and not a detailed analysis.

1) 98 per cent said they should have the right to teach their children in accordance with their religious beliefs.

In this question other answers included:

  • 92 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that preachers should have the right to express their beliefs about sin, judgement and hell even if people find these offensive.
  • 89 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that a business should have the right to refuse to print, publish (or write in icing on a cake) a message with which it does not agree.
  • 88 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that an employee should have the right to refuse to carry out practices that go against their conscience (e.g. sell alcohol or religiously-forbidden food, take part in abortion procedures, conduct a same-sex marriage).
  • 85 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that no one should be prevented from expressing religious, moral or political views by being shouted down or by a "no-platforming" policy.
  • 82 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that no one should be allowed to speak or write about another religious or social group in ways that stir up hostility, hatred or violence towards them.

2) 88 per cent agree that Christians should befriend and listen to people of other faiths before jumping in to  proclaim the gospel to them.

In this question other answers included:

  • 99 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that Christians should share the gospel with those of other faiths.
  • 92 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that Christians should invite people from other faith communities to visit their churches.
  • 85 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that Christians should be actively involved in religious dialogue with people of other faiths.

3) 82 per cent agree that secularism implies that religious beliefs and value are purely private and personal and should not influence public life.

In this question other answers included:

  • 92 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that Secularism is not morally and politically neutral.
  • 78 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that Secularism has led to a moral vacuum in society.
  • 61 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that Britain is an essentially secular country.

4) 83 per cent agreed that a Jewish person who accepts Jesus as the Messiah doesn't need to change their cultural identity.

In this question other answers included:

  • 91 per cent agreed or strongly agreed Judaism and Christianity share a similar set of moral values.
  • 78 per cent agreed or strongly agreed Christians and Jews both pray to the one true God (or the same God).
  • 78 per cent agreed or strongly agreed Christians should challenge Jewish people about the right of all people to choose and change their faith.

5) Only 81 per cent said that they agree that Jesus is the only way of salvation.

This answer was the most popular in a series of options when the question was asked -which of the following statements is closest to your understanding of other religions? Other options included:

  • God's love and mercy is so vast that ultimately everyone will receive the gift of eternal life.
  • Because of what Jesus has done, God accepts people from every faith community who fear Him and do what is right.