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What British Millennials Think about Their 'Christian' Nation

01-14-2017

Millennials in Britain believe that they no longer live in a Christian country. At the same time they say that religion plays an important role in people's lives, according to a ComRes poll

The poll was commissioned by the Faith Research Center in the UK, a firm that works to improve understanding of religion and belief in the country. 

Forty-one percent of British adults aged 18 to 24 believe the country has no specific religious identity.  Meanwhile, nearly 75 percent of Brits over the age of 65 believe that it is a Christian country. 

"In some of the questions we asked, adults aged between 18-24 and adult aged 65+ answered at opposite ends of the scale, indicating marked differences between generations in perceptions of religion and belief," said Katie Harrison, Director of the new Faith Research Center at ComRes.

The differences between the generations concern clergy leaders. They are seeing a growing number of believers abandon their faith. 

Just last month, Lord Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury wrote in the Mail of Sunday that it was important for newly-arrived migrants to realize Britain is a Christian country. 

"The glue which tied us together used to be the institutions of our civil society, including the Church of England, and its hospitable establishment which allowed all voices of minorities a place at the table," he wrote.

"Contrastingly, in countries which insist on secularism, it is often impossible for religious believers to get a hearing. We are succumbing to a creeping culture of religious illiteracy," he continued. 

However, Millennials believe that religion should play some sort of role in their lives, specifically in the area of politics. 

More than half of those polled say it is important for politicians and policy-makers to have a good understanding of religion.

Fifty-four percent believe understanding religion is important regardless of whether you are personally religious. They feel religion is very important when it comes to tackling terrorism.

"Having worked in local communities in the UK as well as in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa in refugee camps, urban slums and rural villages, I'm clear that religion and belief plays a huge part in many people's lives, and to overlook it is to misunderstand important drivers of behavior and culture,'" Harrison said.

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