Sunday, 27 February 2011

Belief in the UK

With the pope touring the UK I noticed he spoke on the secularization of the nation. Curious, I looked up some statistics on religion in the United Kingdom and I find myself very confused by some contradictory data. I found that large survey showed that approx. 72% of British people identify as Christians, yet something called the "Eurobarometer" poll reported that around 40% believe in a god and that 40% beliefed in "some sort of spirit or life force" (whatever that means), with the rest saying that they do no believe there is a god. I am confused because all the atheists I know would never identify as Christians, even at the cultural level. If you could perhaps explain to me why such a discrepancy would occur I would greatly appreciate it.

NB Response: The discrepancy between the Census an polls on this topic is strange, and I have never heard or seen a satisfactory explanation. I suspect it that people are more honest in the Census (false answers are in theory punishable by law) but in a poll they are cowed by the “prevailing climate of opinion” which has been is militantly secularist in the UK.

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