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26 March 2013

Easter Bunny 'more popular than Jesus'

The Easter Bunny is more popular than Jesus and most people are unaware of the Christian roots of Easter, according to a new survey.

More than two thirds of UK residents first think of Easter eggs and then the Easter Bunny when asked about the festival.

And just one in eight consider the religious aspect – with just 12 per cent making any reference to Jesus.

The survey of more than 2,000 people was conducted by vouchercloud.com, which found that those in the West Midlands were most likely (20 per cent) to think of Jesus first when asked about Easter.

Those in the south-west, East Midlands, Wales, Yorkshire and Scotland are more likely to think of the Easter Bunny first.

When it comes to young people, almost two fifths (or 38 per cent) of respondents claim their children (aged 5-11) would know that Easter is something related to God or Jesus.

Commenting on the survey, Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance, said: "After a century of a failed secular experiment it should come as no surprise that many people don't understand Easter.

"Addressing this widespread religious illiteracy in our culture represents a huge educational task for the Church. Paradoxically, as evangelical Christianity continues to grow in the UK this lack of knowledge also offers opportunities to present the gospel afresh to those not inoculated against it by a lukewarm, cultural expression of the faith."

David Marshall is founder of the Meaningful Chocolate Company, which creates the Real Easter Egg – a specifically Christian Easter egg which tells the Easter story.

Of the 80 million chocolate eggs expected to be sold in the UK, the Real Easter Egg is the first and only Fairtrade egg to explain the meaning of Easter on and in the box.

Now in its third year, the Real Easter Egg has a free activity pack in the box which includes the Easter story, activity poster, free video download and a sticker set. The resurrection text from Mark can also be found inside the lid along with the greeting 'Happy Easter!

Last year stories began to emerge of people whose life had been changed after being given a Real Easter Egg. A grandmother from Oxfordshire gave an egg and explained: "Tracy saw the book that was included with the egg and wanted her mum to read the story to her… The following week Tracy attended Sunday School."

David said: "It is encouraging to hear many lives have been changed by people receiving a Real Easter Egg. It is proof that the events of Easter, including the death and resurrection of Jesus, have the power to open minds, change lives and offer real hope. It is also a boost for charitable giving, Fairtrade and the work of trade justice. I hope individuals will hunt out a Real Easter Egg this year."

How should we respond to the lack of knowledge about Easter? Vote here in our poll of  the week.