Only 6% of adults in the United Kingdom identify as practicing Christians, while 42% say they are non-practicing Christians, and one in three non-Christians say they want to know more about Jesus Christ, according to the findings of a recent survey, Talking Jesus.
As many as 70% of those who identify as Christians are white Brits, who represent 83% of the U.K.’s adult population, says the survey, adding that 25% of those who identify as Christians are ethnic minorities, although they represent only 12% of the U.K.’s adult population.
The survey of more than 3,000 U.K. adults, commissioned by five Christian organizations, also found that 4% identify as agnostics, and 12% as atheists.
In 2015, 68% of non-Christians in the U.K. said they knew someone who was an active or practicing Christian, but in 2022, that has fallen to 53%, Premier Christian News noted, citing the Talking Jesus survey, which is conducted every five years to help leaders grow the Church and adapt mission strategies, although the previous survey was seven years ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a significant drop that shows that our reach has diminished, and we’ve got less contact,” Rachel Jordan-Wolf, executive director of Hope Together, a group involved in the research, was quoted as saying.
She added, “There are more non-Christians who don’t know an active or practicing Christian. So that’s something really to watch. It could be because of the pandemic, as we’ve all not been out and about as much. But these are often significant relationships, so someone they call a friend or family member.
“It’s a little bit of a warning that we might have somehow shrunk the people we’re connected to. So as churches, we need to look out and as individuals, we need to expand our friendship circle and make sure that we’ve got some great life-giving friendships with people who don’t yet know Jesus.”
The study also showed that a quarter of Brits describe Jesus as a “normal human being,” and 33% as a prophet or spiritual leader, and not God.
However, while only 6% of Brits identify as Christian, the survey revealed that 45% of people believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, and 20% believe He is the Son of God.
Further, one in three non-Christians wanted to know more about Jesus Christ after a conversation with a Christian, according to the survey.
“It’s so encouraging, it’s gone up. In 2015, it was one in five,” Jordan-Wolf said. “I wonder if the pandemic and a slightly more wobbly world when people don’t know what’s happening, has actually made people more interested in faith, but it makes this an even more important moment for us to talk about our faith.”
Asked where would people go to find out about the Christian faith, 26% said they would search on Google, 22% said they would go to a local church, 22% said they would read the Bible, and 15% said they would talk to a friend or a family member who is Christian.
The survey, which was also featured by the Church of England on its website, further showed that 62% of non-Christians describe the Christians they know as friendly, 50% as caring, 33% as good-humored, 32% as generous, 19% as authentic.
The groups that commissioned the survey included Alpha, Evangelical Alliance, Luis Palau Association and Kingsgate Community Church.