Christian News from Scotland

News stories from Scotland and beyond

Monday, February 02, 2009

Most UK Christians think their liberty is in danger

A majority of church-going Christians in the UK believe that religious liberty is at risk, a new poll shows. They also think more Christians should engage with politics.

More than four in five Christians (84 per cent) think that religious freedoms, of speech and action, are at risk in the UK.

A similar proportion of Christians (82 per cent) feel that it is becoming more difficult to live in an increasingly secular country.

The survey also reveals that most Christians (91 per cent) think their fellow believers should be more engaged in politics and campaign for Christian-friendly laws.

When asked which global issue concerned them most, a majority of UK protestants said “the number of people who believe in Jesus”.

Over 70 per cent were concerned about drug and alcohol abuse and 60 per cent were concerned about the spread of other religions.

The poll results have been published by ComRes, a member of the British Polling Council. Its clients include the BBC and The Independent.

The pollster has established ‘Cpanel’, a panel of UK Christians that aims to better represent the views of serious, practising Christians in the UK across all denominations.

It set up the panel in response to concerns that other polling companies were using a very loose definition of ‘Christian’ when seeking the views of Christians.

A ComRes report states: “While playing an active role as a pollster in the public debate around abortion over the last two years, ComRes became aware that some of its clients were frustrated at the way that Christian opinion was represented by other polling companies.

“Often our polling opponents would seek to gauge Christian opinion by simply conducting a national poll and using the views of those identifying themselves as ‘Christian’ as opposed to ‘Muslim’, ‘Hindu’, ‘Buddhist’ or ‘Atheist’.

“Given that about 70% of the UK population currently defines itself as ‘Christian’ when faced with this question, this methodology is far from satisfactory as the majority of these will not be churchgoers.

“Indeed, in the 2001 National Census more people defined themselves as ‘Jedi’ than ‘Hindu’. We decided that something had to be done.

“Cpanel was set up last year not only to serve as the ‘public voice’ of practicing Christians, but also to make available a research tool for organizations looking to sample the views of the churchgoing Christian community to inform an internal strategy.”

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