Monday, March 24, 2008

Christian think tank doesn’t know the difference between atheism and secularism

"A new survey by the Christian “think tank” Theos shows that there are more people in Britain who describe themselves as atheists and doubters than there are self-described Christians. Theos manages to interpret this as a failure of secularism.
Theos describes itself as a “public theology think tank”. Well, it had better get its thinking cap on and reconsider the honesty of its approach.
The poll, conducted for Theos by ComRes, questioned 1100 people about what they believed, and although it was presented by Theos as proof of Britain’s continued “spirituality”, it was actually very bad news for the churches.
When asked “How would you describe your beliefs?” A total of 48% of respondents said either “I am a doubter” or “I am an atheist”. Only 38% said they were “a Christian who doesn’t go to Church regularly” and 8% said they were Christians who “regularly attends church”. This rather dramatically contradicts the finding of the 2001 census, which showed 72% of people describing themselves as Christians.
When asked about their opinions on Jesus, a total of 41% of the ComRes respondents said they thought he never existed or they didn’t know whether he existed or not. Only 40% definitely thought he was “the son of God”. 26% thought that the Easter story had no real meaning today. Only 31% disagreed with the statement that “death marks the end of human existence”. Only 9% believed in “physical resurrection”.
These results were launched by Theos with the claim: “The new Theos Easter research makes uncomfortable reading for those who would claim Britain is, in any meaningful sense, secular.”

National Secular Society, 20 March 2008
Read the poll results in full
Read the Theos analysis of the results


Unknown said...

The fact that the census might have been wrong makes me feel a bit better. According to the 2002 census in Romania, my country, there were only 0.1% atheists (!). Imagine how lonely I started to feel after lately reading this numbers. I can't stop wondering though how is it possible to have such different results...

Zeno said...


I suspect there are many more atheists in Romania! In Scotland, the 2001 census showed 27.5% (1.4 million) are atheists. Other surveys show higher numbers, particularly in younger age groups. Please don't despair!

However, we still have religionists trying to dictate morality to us, so there are still battles to be won.

If you're feeling lonely, why not join some fellow atheists on our discussion forum at