The idea of the UK as a Christian nation has been challenged in recent years. The latest survey says that more than half of the population has no faith and the share of the population who say they are Christians has fallen to just 15 percent – the lowest ever recorded.
But does this show that Britain has finally turned the corner, and are no longer a Christian nation?
“More than two-thirds of the population said they were Christian. This has now fallen to 41 per cent.”
What we’re seeing is an acceleration in people who are not only not practicing their faith on a regular basis, but that do not even identify themselves as Christian anymore.
“On one level one could argue that Britain will remain a Christian nation until a movement comes along that redefines it in explicitly secular terms.”
But it remains the case that religion is no longer the main background against which individuals and the Government measure their morality. Instead, many people who are looking for something to believe in are instead placing their trust in the occult or New Age beliefs and the relative popularity of “spirituality”. People also continue to look for meaning in alcohol, pornography, and recreational sex.
“The situation has been exacerbated by the comments of senior church figures such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who lamented earlier this year that “the British culture is becoming anti-Christian.”
Nick Baines also warned that a brand of “intolerant” liberalism circulates in the UK which is dismissive of the Christian faith. The Right Reverend Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, said “some secularists “have a problem” with religion being talked about.”
He made his comments after Theresa May said it is important people can talk freely about their faith following claims some Christians dare not speak about Christmas.
The result is that Britain’s Christianity is largely unexpressed
It seems that the Christians – maybe about a half according to polls – feel vaguely Christian but don’t know how to express it.
“In a strange way, Britain’s Christianity is largely unexpressed.”
Bishop Baines said: “Clearly there are some Christians who are concerned about whether they are free to talk about their faith in a respectful and appropriate way in the workplace.
“Equally, there are plenty of people who are not Christians who think that Christians shouldn’t, or think there is an issue around it. I call it religious illiteracy.
Sociologists will tell you that this makes no sense and that culture is what is expressed. But maybe religion, these days, is harder to express than other things amidst all the censorship and while it is clear Christianity is not reinventing the wheel: Christianity is at-least fusing modern tastes with smart messaging that sits with both traditional Christian values and contemporary concerns about the world.
Bishop Baines said: “There are people who have been disciplined or threatened with discipline for talking about their faith even though they have been asked about it. Someone makes a complaint and says they have been inappropriate. This is absurd.”
He added: “There is, amongst some Christians – this isn’t universal – a sense of being a little picked on or beleaguered.
“I think if you claim to be open-minded and liberal, why are you so frightened of religious expression?”
“It is a Christian festival. Are they going to tell Muslims they have got to strip Islam out of Eid? It’s ridiculous”
“Liberalism can become very intolerant of anything that doesn’t fit its own parameters.”
We have already seen a number of cases in Britain when Christians have been disciplined or sacked at work or expelled from school for expressing their faith.
We are clearly at the beginning of a new era and know the Church will continue, whatever happens in accordance with biblical teachings. As we Christians say, all things are possible through Jesus Christ who strengthens us.
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6 replies on “Is Britain a nation of slient Christians?”
Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. God Bless
Thanks for taking the time to leave a message God Bless and have a wonderful week.
As someone who used to work for an organisation that defends the very people who get sacked for expressing their faith in the public domain, I can tell you that more and more Christians are coming under fire for speaking of Christ (many more than shown in the media). This can be anything from street preaching to expressing views about sexuality and gender. These cases, as well as the hounding of MP Tim Farron last year, indicate that British society has become increasingly hostile to biblical values, because they contradict the values of the progressive establishment.
I think many Christians are conscious of this potential backlash which is discouraging them to speak up, but I also believe that part of the problem is that Christians don’t always know what to think about some of these social issues. It’s not always popular to discuss issues like transgenderism at church, after all! I think we need to be emphasising the value of understanding and speaking truth into issues like these.
None of this to say that we should be discouraged – Jesus promised persecution! But the Church needs to wake up and reclaim her voice – to be the counter-cultural alternative to a confused society. If we can do anything at all we certainly need to pray – as an above commenter said, for revival, but also for courage and conviction to stir the hearts of believers, that they would be bold in speaking truth into a ‘post-truth’ culture!
Amen. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. God Bless
What I pray happens is that in spite of what polls may say and in spite of what religious churches might spout off or compromise in, that God reveals himself to individual hearts. I pray that a torrent rain of revival hits the nation. It may not happen in the “church” setting, as many churches have fallen to religious humdrum and politics instead of relationship. But I pray that it happens in homes and neighborhoods. This river may not be noticed in the media but it will be violent underground. What happens to rain that comes down too quickly? It becomes a flood and sometimes flows violently into the drain system. I pray that he rain of the Holy Spirit hits your nation one individual at a time. And that those who are influenced by it become strong and powerful in the wisdom and anointing of the Lord. And that you will arise victorious and many hearts will be saved. God bless.
Sad but true. John R.W. Stott expressed it this way: “The world manifests a constant tendency to deteriorate . . . Christians must retain their saltiness and allow the light of Christ to shine through them.” Thanks for sharing that information. The true Christians in Britain certainly need our prayers that God would give them strength and boldness.