Well, the Barna Group recently did a survey of the population of England to better understand the religious beliefs of the English. The results are saddening and eye-opening. According to the report, 57% of people in England identify as Christians, which sounds like a great number, but of this 57% only a shocking 9% are practicing Christians. Forty percent of people do not think or don’t know if Jesus was a real historical person. For those who accept Jesus’ historicity, 30% think He was just a spiritual leader or prophet and 17% think He was just a normal man, not God incarnate. It should also make us realize when we hear statistics, we have to be careful to determine if people define terms like “Christian” the same way we do as we read the results! You can read the full report here.
Where England is today, America will be tomorrow. It’s no surprise that America is becoming less religious every day—23% of Americans say they are “nones,” those who claim no religious affiliation, such as atheists. This is a rise of 7% since 2007! I’ve commented on these numbers many times before. Actually, when the secular world says “less religious,” they usually mean less Christian! Everyone is religious. These “nones” are religious. Atheists, you see, have a religion. And as the Bible reminds us, we are either for or against Christ. Those who reject the Christian God have faith in regard to how they believe life arose.
Sadly, the church in England and the US have not been effective in keeping the next generation in their pews. Instead of discipling children and teens and equipping them with the tools they need to stand strong in their faith, many churches have simply entertained young people, and now many of them are leaving. Research in America shows that two-thirds of young people will leave the church when they go off to college or start a career, many never to return again (this is all detailed in my co-authored book Already Gone). These are sobering statistics.
But we shouldn't get discouraged. There’s a world out there that needs to hear the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ! We need to be telling them about our Savior. We need to be equipping our young people with the tools they need to stand strong in their faith and help them to fashion a biblical worldview so they understand how to see the world through biblical glasses. You can learn more about how to reach out to the young people of this generation in my new co-authored book Ready to Return. I encourage you to add this book to your personal and church library.
Please pray for the Christians and missionaries who live and work in England (we have a sister office there, by the way) and have a very difficult job of trying to share Christ in a post-Christian nation that knows so little about Him. Please remember our AiG–UK office in your prayers. They are actively working to equip Christians in the UK with the tools they need to share the gospel with others and answer the skeptical questions of this age.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.