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  "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." - Mark 16:15 

 

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” - 1st Corinthians 3:16

The UK - A nation of Atheists?

The British public and God

There has been studies circulating the news media this month, in newspapers, online and so forth, and also in previous years, typically carried out by the British Social Attitudesemptychurch2 survey, the results of which can be found here here along with a more indepth study with age groups, percentages and so forth here. The second study reportedly was done more ‘in depth’ due to more generalised studies such as the first one in the paragraph.

Lets take a look at the stats

From the more in depth study, according to the chart at the below, almost 26% of the population identify with either of the two main denominations of Christian - Anglican or Catholic. There is another category, ‘Other Christian’, which is made up of groups such as Methodists, Presbyterian and so forth, although interesting to note the largest of this ‘Other Christian’ group is referred to as ‘non-denominational Christians,’ although it does not specify how much of this significant 17.2% of the population non-denominational Christians comprises.

 

relattitudes1

 

When we look at the 48.6% of the UK population, which identifies itself as 'No religion', we find the following breakdown:

 

relattitudes2

Of the total of nearly half of the population which are classed as 'no religion', or 'Nones' as the term is used (although I don't like the term!) 60% are undecided if God really exits, and 3% are convinced God exists.  Doing some math, that's almost 31% of the population, without any religious ties, who either believe in God or are sitting on the fence! And really only 18.4% of the population make the claim, 'I don't believe in God.'

When you think about it, the question of ‘Do you regard yourself as belonging to any particular religion’ is somewhat lopsided. The main focus of the study suggests it is therefore more so to see what church you attend – to see if you are religious, not if you are a born again believer, as the assumption is made that if you believe in God that you will therefore attend a religious organisation.


emptychurch1The report overall shows that people are leaving religion in their droves, especially younger people, and it’s a trend which increases each year.

However, given that so many people identify with the ‘non-Christian denomination’ category and also that so many people class themselves as not religious, but believe in God or are undecided, shows that many people in the country are still open to becoming a biblical born again believer, if they aren’t so already. Atheism is not as big a thing in society as the newspaper headlines claim, which usually comes about by sensationalist seeking headlines and poor investigative journalism, or just a lack of understanding of peoples attitudes and the right questions to ask.

Conclusion

Only 18.5% of the UK population are atheists.

30.5% either believe in God or are open to the possibility.

43% either identify with a Christian religious denomination or are ‘Other Christian’, but this number is decreasing.

8% of the population are Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and so forth.

There are still plenty of people we can witness to, whether it’s the ~30% who believe God exists or are open to the possibility, or the 43% belonging to a Christian denomination or ‘Other Christian’ so that we can make sure they are born again.  Or even the remaining approximately 8% of ‘Non Christian religion’ ie Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and so forth. Even a hardened atheist (only 18% of the country) can have a change of mind.  The fields are ripe for harvest (John 4:35).

What can we do?

We must try to stay with good testimony, pray for the Spirit to guide us, and witness to people when we can, remembering that there are many people in this chaotic world whosunrise are still searching for the Truth, and the peace that is found in Christ Jesus, and it’s a statistical fact! Just over 30% believe in God or are open to the possibility, but have no affiliation with Christ, that’s just over 30% looking to find out about Jesus. Only 18.5% of the UK identify themselves as actual atheists.

Another thing to remember of course, is that people do not need to attend a church to be saved, as the authors of these studies are showing, they are either unawares or not paying attention to the fact of being born again does not have to equate to attending a church.

As the scripture says at the top of the page, when you believe in Jesus, you are born again, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

And if you do get lonely in this chaotic life, remember, Jesus is with us 'always, even until the end of the world. Amen.’ (Matthew 28:20)

 

 

19th May 2017 

 

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