Previous blog archive

"He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!"

Posted by Tim on Friday, March 25, 2005 | View Comments (29)

This was sent to me recently by Brother Jeff (not sure of the source) -
"Jesus wuz that religious bloke, in'it?"

More than half of British people have no idea why Easter is celebrated, a survey revealed.

Just 48 per cent of some 1,000 adults questioned for the Reader's Digest Magazine poll correctly answered the resurrection of Christ.

In addition, a massive 92 per cent failed to recognise Karol Wojtyla is better known as Pope John Paul II, according to the survey.

People appeared to struggle with religious figureheads, with two-thirds clueless as to the identity of the Archbishop of Cantebury Rowan Williams and 42 per cent unable to name Judas Iscariot as the man who betrayed Jesus.

Despite their lack of religious knowledge, the poll found 64 per cent of people quizzed believed in God and 58 per cent in an afterlife.

"Britons have a strong spiritual sense, with a majority expressing a belief in God and an afterlife, but they have little grasp of or interest in the basic tenets of Christianity," said Reader's Digest editor-in-chief Katherine Walker.

"Many people who would profess to be Christian know little more about the faith than they do about other world religions," she added.

On top of general ignorance about Christianity, the British public appeared ill-informed about the other five major faiths practised in the country.

Less than a quarter of adults associated the Torah with the Jewish faith, while only 40 per cent knew halal food was eaten by Muslims.

A mere 44 per cent correctly said the cow is sacred to Hindus and 41 per cent knew the Dalai Lama is Buddhists' spiritual leader.

As for which religion is associated with the turban - Sikhs - 56 per cent got the answer right.

The question that attracted the most right answers was: To whom did God give the 10 commandments, 64 per cent correctly said Moses.

Of 1001 adults surveyed, the average number of correct answers was five out of 10.

I am sure that the 72% of UK residents who claimed in the last census to be Christians only did so because there was no box to tick for "vaguely deistic". The problem with this is that fundamentalist groups like Operation Christian Vote seem to think that they are standing up for the silent majority.

There is no real wall of separation between church and state over here, so England is in the bizarre position of being a Christian nation filled with secular people.