A fourth of self-described Christians in Great Britain believe that Jesus Christ was not resurrected, and almost a tenth of those with no religious affiliation say not all of the content of the Easter story should be interpreted literally, according to a survey commissioned by BBC for Palm Sunday.
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Based on a ComRes survey among 2,010 adults in Great Britain from Feb. 2 to 12, a small percentage (9 percent) of the non-religious respondents believe that Jesus was resurrected but 1 percent said they do not take the Easter story literally. Half of the subjects surveyed do not believe in Christ's resurrection and only 31 percent of all the self-proclaimed Christians believe its Bible version word-for-word, the BBC details.
For the Church of England, the results of the BBC-commissioned survey showed that many people in Great Britain have religious beliefs. The Right Reverend David Walker, the Bishop of Manchester, noted that people who claimed to have no religion appear to have religious beliefs, too.
"This important and welcome survey proves that many British people, despite not being regular churchgoers, hold core Christian beliefs ... Alongside them it finds surprisingly high levels of religious belief among those who follow no specific religion, often erroneously referred to as secularists or atheist," said Walker. "This demonstrates how important beliefs remain across our society and hence the importance both of religious literacy and of religion having a prominent place in public discourse."
Prof. Linda Woodhead of Lancaster University's Department of Politics, Philosophy, and Religion said the ComRes poll only shows that the people of Britain are evenly divided between the self-professed Christians and those who say they have no religion. However, she acknowledged that there are a lot of Christians who do not believe in life after death, while a lot of non-religious do.
In an op-ed published on The Malay Mail Online, Andy West noted that millions of non-Christians including Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhist from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other former colonies relocated to Britain since the 1950s. Although he said the United Kingdom has been a Christian country, a few of these immigrants have embraced the Gospel.
Moreover, West said the British society is now made up of millions of agnostics and atheists. He added that there are many who find it difficult to identify with the Easter festival, which is based on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.