Survey Shows World Poverty is Top Issue for UK Christians

A survey of Christian political opinion in the United Kingdom found that 60 percent of Christian Britons view world poverty as a prime election issue while only 16 percent say terrorism would affect their choice in the upcoming General Election.

The survey was conducted by the Evangelical Alliance UK at the Spring Harvest 2005 festival. Organizers say 2,000 people answered the survey.

Exactly 35 percent of those polled viewed education as a prime issue, and 34 percent said the same for religious liberty.

Also, in contrast to figures that show a dramatic decline in United Kingdom voter turnout, the mainly evangelical gathering made clear their intention to vote. About 8 in 10 intended to cast their vote. From this group, more than half (52 percent), said they were active in their local communities, many serving as local “councillors” or school governors.

Another 17 percent said they were actively involved in lobbying the government on issues such as gambling, religious freedom and the Keep Sunday Special campaign.

Joel Edwards, General director of the Evangelical Alliance said: “the figures indicate that Christians are keen to make a difference on the global stage and that many of them have taken to heart the message of the Make Poverty History campaign.”

“They also show that Christians are planning to come out in force and vote at the forthcoming election and that many are in key positions in their locality to influence and make known the issues that matter to them.”

According to the survey, issues like abortion, more financial help for those who are married with families, better and more effective teaching of the Christian faith in schools, political corruption and the need for integrity in public life, are key to drawing in the evangelical vote.

The retired Rev. Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden, and a member of the leadership team at Spring Harvest, described the survey as ‘brilliant’ and added: “with 83 percent deciding to vote, it is really encouraging to see Christians taking their responsibilities so seriously.”