A recent survey shows that a stunning number of Christians in the United Kingdom believe their faith has been marginalized in today’s British society.
The “State of the Faith” study, conducted by Premier Christian Communications, which is owned by the London-based charity Premier Christian Media Trust, found that a whopping 93 percent of Christians in the U.K. believe “Christianity is being marginalized in society,” with 50 percent saying they have “personally experienced prejudice” against their faith.
“These striking results should give everyone pause for thought as to whether we need to do more to enable people of religious faith to be themselves without fear,” the organization said on a website promoting the survey’s results.
Fifty-three percent of the study’s 12,000 respondents said they “strongly agree” and 40 percent said they “agree” that Christianity is marginalized. And 80 percent disagreed with the claim that Christianity is given the same respect as other dominant worldviews and religions.
Only 29 percent of those surveyed said they feel it is “acceptable” to share their Christian faith with others, while 67 percent said they don’t feel they are able to do so.
And the trend doesn’t seem to be improving with younger generations, either. In fact, 70 percent of Christians between the ages of 15-19 said they have experienced prejudice because of their beliefs.
Nola Leach, chief executive of Care, a Christian lobbying group in the U.K., said she has seen “worrying signs” that Christian beliefs are being marginalized in British society.
“Partly because of illiteracy [and] partly because of those who have a very different agenda, we may be moving into a period when debate is shutdown — where you can’t have an honest debate and agree to differ,” she told Premier.
And Premier CEO Peter Kerridge pulled no punches when he observed that maybe the U.K. hasn’t become the “liberal accepting society” many of its leaders claim it to be.
“These are ordinary Christians who feel overwhelmingly that their Christian beliefs are being marginalized and that, as a result, it is becoming far more difficult to live as a person of faith in the U.K.,” he said.
Kerridge added: Believers “should be encouraged to hold to their faith not just in their homes and churches, mosques, synagogues and temples, but also in their jobs and hobbies and in the public square.”
The results of this survey come as several Christians in the U.K. have faced backlash for simply making their faith public.
A Christian nurse was fired from Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford in March after offering to pray with patients before surgery. The hospital was made aware of Sarah Kuteh’s conduct after eight patients, who were in “extremely vulnerable” situations, submitted complaints about her, The Telegraph reported.
In the same month, two Christian street preachers were convicted of disorderly conduct and fined for speaking at a public shopping center, where they told Muslims that their God “did not exist,” according to BBC. The duo won an appeal last month and they plan to return to the streets soon.
And in mid-June, liberal British politician Tim Farron, who was serving as leader of the Liberal Democrats, resigned from his post because he concluded it is “impossible” to be simultaneously committed to his Christian faith and his party’s increasingly progressive platform.
“To be a political leader — especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 — and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me,” he said at the time.