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‘Marginalised’ Christians: new study paints a bleak picture

‘Marginalised’ Christians: new study paints a bleak picture

A survey published this week by Premier Christian Communications indicates that Christians in the UK are feeling increasingly marginalised.

Tim Dieppe, Head of Public Policy at Christian Concern, which offers legal support to Christians who say they have been unfairly treated,  said the results resonate “very much” with their experiences over the years.

People try and say that our cases are the exception …  I think what [Premier’s] research shows is that it’s the tip of the iceberg and actually underlying this there is a very strong groundswell of feeling and experience of prejudice or marginalisation.

Almost 12,000 people took part in the the “State of the Faith survey”, which showed that 93 percent think Christianity is being marginalised in society and four in five believe Christianity isn’t given the same respect as other faiths

Nola Leach, Chief Executive of Care – a Christian group which lobbies politicians – agreed that there are “worrying signs” Christian viewpoints are being side-lined.

Premier CEO Peter Kerridge, above, said:

It’s clear that we are not the liberal accepting society we think we are if we don’t tolerate and accept everyone, including Christians.

People of faith, from all religions should be allowed to live and work in freedom. They 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.

This survey clearly indicates how it feels to be an ordinary Christian today. I suspect that other faith groups may have similar stories to tell.

Alex Cunningham, a Christian Labour politician, said that more than nine in ten participants feeling their faith is marginalised was a “frightening statistic”.

The MP for Stockton North said efforts by believers to challenge negative perceptions among non-believers could help lead to fewer Christians feeling marginalised.

Four in five respondents said they did not believe Christian is given the same respect in society as other worldviews and religions.

Theologian, Andrew Graystone was sceptical about the survey, saying that Christians sometimes like to believe their being “squeezed out”, and that life for UK believers isn’t always as bad as they may think.

Christians have got enormous freedom to operate and to act. Nobody stops Christians from meeting together. Nobody stops Christians from standing for parliament. Nobody stops Christians from talking about their faith.

For crying out loud, they even have a Minister for Faith and Integration – Lord Bourne, above, who said:

The Christian faith contributes a huge amount to our communities and allows other faith groups to flourish. We’ve been clear that people need to be able to feel strong in their religious identities and are making sure that the voices of people of faith are heard in Government.

Kerridge went on to say:

This is not the clergy talking, or academics theorising, or politicians making a case. These are ordinary Christians who feel overwhelmingly that their Christian beliefs are being marginalised and that as a result it is becoming far more difficult to live as a person of faith in the UK.

The statistics also suggest a generational gap in views on Christian marginalisation. Asked whether Christianity is being marginalised in society, 94 percent of pensioners agreed compared to only 77 percent of 15-19 year olds.

Paradoxically, 70 percent of 15-19 year olds said they had experienced prejudice because of their faith – compared to just 51 per cent of pensioners.

Premier Christian Communications is now calling on politicians, employers, the media and wider society to do more to ensure Christianity is given the same respect as other faiths and that ordinary Christians should feel able to be open about their beliefs both at home and at work, whilst asking the Church to do more to widen its reach.

Kerridge said:

We want the church to be much more supportive of Christians who aren’t necessarily found in church on a Sunday. There are millions of people who are trying to live out their lives and for whatever reason can’t be in church on a Sunday.

It sounds obvious but they could ‘extend their opening hours’, experiment with new ways of using the tens of thousands of church buildings, and generally really adapt to enable normal ordinary Christians to feel they are really part of a community.

It would show that Christianity isn’t an institution run by a professional elite ministering to the holy few.

• The graphic at the top of the page was taken from Ordinary Christian, which is exhorting people to sign a pledge which says:

I support ordinary Christians and believe that people of all faiths should be able to be themselves at home, work, education and in public life.

If you provide Ordinary Christian your cellphone number it will  send you “seven days of free prayers to strengthen your faith”.

17 responses to “‘Marginalised’ Christians: new study paints a bleak picture”

  1. Johan says:

    Awwwh …diddums den. Poor wickle cwistians

  2. StephenJP says:

    At least Andrew Graystone seems capable of a balanced comment.

    These people excel at missing the point. Most of us don’t care whether people are Christians or not. What we object to is the assumption of the serious god-botherers that they have a right to impose their views on others without question. They do not like being challenged or opposed. The problem with Tim Farron was not his Christian views in themselves; it was his fervent evangelism. (He once said something to the effect – sorry, can’t find the quote – that those who don’t believe in the resurrection are mad). That is what really gets people’s backs up.

    As has been said more times than I care to recall, religion should be an activity for consenting adults in private.

  3. phhht says:

    All these poor put-upon religious believers could throw off the shackles of oppression with nothing but a little testable evidence to distinguish their beliefs from delusional disorders.

  4. barriejohn says:

    StephenJP: I don’t remember that, though Christians (“Who Moved the Stone?”) have for years been banging on about the “evidence” for the resurrection being “overwhelming” etc., and telling us that no rational person could possibly deny the fact that it took place. I remember all that sort of thing from my youth, and it can be very convincing when all you hear is one side of the argument. Here, however, is evidence that shows just why Farron had to go, as he completely screws up his opportunity to ridicule Saint Theresa of the May over her Easter protestations, and comes up with something which reads more like a parody from Private Eye:

    http://www.libdemvoice.org/tim-farrons-easter-message-2-53926.html

  5. Brummie says:

    Turn their thousands of church buildings into pubs. That will make them useful and bring the “faithful” back.

  6. Angela_K says:

    I suggest this usual whinging from the terminally delusional is because they are being called out every time they try to use their superstition to prevent the rights and freedoms of non-believers; i.e. they claim they are being discriminated against because they can’t discriminate.

    As others have said, I don’t care that theses stupid, credulous people believe fairy tales as long as they keep it to themselves.

  7. andym says:

    Yep. This is real persecution, and further proof of what a mealy-mouthed arsehole Zuckerberg is.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/19/facebook-pakistan-blasphemy-laws-censorship

  8. StephenC says:

    What they mean is that they are not being obeyed.

  9. Brian Jordan says:

    It’s relativigtic: they can’t get over the facts that Muslims take their religion more seriously, defend it more vigorously and are always in the news.

  10. barriejohn says:

    And they’re going to love this news:

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/07/21/lifelong-lgbt-rights-advocate-lady-hale-becomes-president-of-the-supreme-court/

    She is a bête noire of the Daily Mail, and, with any luck, Paul Dacre will have an apoplectic fit!

  11. andym says:

    “with any luck, Paul Dacre will have an apoplectic fit!”
    Bring it on !

  12. L.Long says:

    To translate…Mommy! I’m being called names and being picked on by the other kids, and they are making me cccrrryyyyy!!!!!

  13. gedediah says:

    Be careful what you ask for. Christianity enjoys a privileged position over other religions in the UK. I’m all for treating them all equally.

    As for equal standing with other world views, show us the same level of evidence and you can be on a par with science and secularism.

  14. Peter Sykes says:

    I’m happy to give Christians exactly the same respect that I give to other faiths…

  15. John the Drunkard says:

    Oppression = finding that a privilege you didn’t know you had has come under scrutiny.

    And this from a country that still has a ‘national’ religion.

  16. Robster says:

    Do these twits ever step back and wonder why their faith(s) are held in such low regard? Could it be the basic “faith” nonsense, crazy, silly dogmas, the institutionalised bigotry, the super silly ritual carry on, the vacuousness of the people who take it on themselves to tout the tripe, the overt criminal behaviour of so many, protected by their various church facilities, even the silly hats? Yep, probably.

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